The Importance of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) CoverageSeptember 6, 2012
As personal injury trial lawyers, we often face insurance coverage issues and questions that impact our clients’ auto accident claim or personal injury case. That is why decisions you make concerning your own insurance coverages well before getting into an accident can be extremely important and critical to protecting you if you are involved in a serious crash or accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) is a type of automobile insurance coverage that is available to drivers to provide benefits if the other at-fault driver causes you any serious injuries and has no insurance or insufficient insurance to compensate you for your injuries. It is commonly overlooked or misunderstood by the public. However, it can be the most important insurance policy in Florida that one can carry. For instance, Florida does not require that every driver carry bodily injury liability (BI) insurance to cover other drivers that are injured. Under Florida’s laws, the minimum coverage required is $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL) as long as you have a valid Florida license plate. BI coverage pays for serious and permanent injury or death to others when you cause a crash involving your automobile. Statistics show that one out of four drivers on the road in Florida do not have any insurance and are driving illegally. Typically, 75% of drivers are underinsured or carry no insurance at all.
It is often recommended that individuals carry minimum limits of $100,000/300,000 in UM coverage, but you should always consult an experienced and professional insurance agent when selecting the available insurance based on your circumstances. Another beneficial way to increase the available UM coverage is to “Stack” the coverage. If you own two or more vehicles with the same insurance policy and you have BI insurance, you should be eligible for stacked coverage which will multiply your available UM coverage by the number of vehicles under the policy for an additional (and usually a low) premium.
Therefore, we stress that you carefully review the insurance needs for you and your family, and obtain sufficient UM coverage that is stacked, if possible. It is too often that we see a seriously injured claimant realize after a catastrophic or serious accident that they did not carry any UM coverage or enough, to compensate them for their injuries.
Ruben E. Socarras, Esq., founder/managing partner of the firm that is based in Boca Raton, Florida, is an AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney focusing his practice in the areas civil litigation, wrongful death, catastrophic and personal injury law, among other areas of law. The AV® Preeminent™ designation is Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer review rating based on a legal professional’s skills and ethics. Please contact our firm today for more information about how we can assist you with your accident or injury case at 561-361-1000, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer a free consultation and there is no obligation to pay for legal fees or costs unless we successfully recover against the at-fault party. Please visit our website at www.bocainjurylaw.com or www.socarraslaw.com for more information.
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