Should I buy uninsured motorist coverage in Florida?

A question we frequently get asked is Should I buy uninsured motorist coverage in Florida. The short answer is yes, and here are the reasons why.

According to recent studies, about one out of eight drivers lack basic motor vehicle insurance. While Florida drivers are not legally required to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, it is often a very good idea to do so. Florida has one of the highest estimated percentages of uninsured motorists in the United States, and even with your no-fault PIP coverage, it is very likely that you will incur expenses if an uninsured driver hits you. Having uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage protects you in the event of a hit and run or an accident with a driver who is not covered.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage often consists of two policies: one that covers the insured driver for vehicle damage and personal injury when hit by an uninsured driver, and one that covers the insured driver for the difference between an at-fault driver’s insurance coverage and the cost of the accident. This “underinsured” motorist coverage is particularly beneficial for those who are involved in accidents with drivers who carry only the minimum amounts of coverage.

When a driver who has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is involved in an accident in which the other driver is at fault, the policy will pay the insured driver’s expenses, after meeting a deductible, up to the limits of the policy. Many uninsured motorist policies have the same limits for liability, medical coverage and property damage as the insured’s regular policy.

Once it has been determined that the at-fault driver is uninsured, the victim’s policy will begin to pay the costs of the crash. In Florida, all drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage which pays their own and their passengers’ medical bills in case of an accident. However, there may be additional costs that exceed PIP limits, particularly if the crash was serious.

Why Should I Carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Many people have an objection to paying for coverage to protect them from uninsured motorists. After all, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle without insurance in every state. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that there are many people on the road who are escaping the consequences of failure to have insurance until they cause serious damage to an innocent victim. Rather than take the chance of being such a victim, it is best to opt for uninsured motorist protection.

People fail to carry insurance on their cars for a variety of reasons. In some cases, the drivers honestly believe they are covered but do not have the right type of policy to pay for certain damages. In many cases, the drivers realize they are not insured but cannot afford a policy to protect themselves. If a driver does not have insurance, there is a good chance that he or she also has no significant personal assets which the victim can take to pay for his or her injuries.

In addition, there seems to be a link between the lack of insurance and the tendency to hit and run. Many hit-and-run accidents involve drivers who are improperly licensed or insured. Because of this, a hit-and-run driver may feel there is little to lose from fleeing the scene of an accident. So, the answer to should i buy uninsured motorist coverage in Florida is YES!