Florida drivers need protection from uninsured motorists

With driving come a number of responsibilities. Some people take these responsibilities seriously. They drive the speed limit (or relatively close to it). They do not text and drive, and they use a hands-free device if they talk on a cell phone. They follow the law by purchasing automobile insurance. And, then there are people who do none of these things.  This means you need to pick up their slack.

Let me be blunt. You need to seriously consider purchasing bodily injury liability and uninsured motorist coverage in Florida. Yeah, it’s optional. But the Insurance Research Council estimates that 24 percent of Florida drivers are uninsured. That’s scary all by itself. What is scarier is that there is no way to know how many people buy only the minimal coverage that is required by law. That means they have $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP, also known as no-fault insurance) and $10,000 in property damage liability. You already should know that the PIP system is run amok with fraud (which is a story I’ve told). And, you also know that if someone is severely injured in a car crash, it does not take long to surpass $10,000 in medical bills. If the guy or gal that hits you has no insurance, those medical bills are all yours – - unless you buy uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This also covers you if the at-fault driver is an underinsured motorist (UIM), an equally likely scenario is this dismal economy, or a hit-and-run driver, which is also (unfortunately) not farfetched.

Simply, UM/UIM coverage makes your insurance company responsible for the damages that would otherwise have been the responsibility of the at-fault driver. Get out your auto insurance policy now, before you drive another block. In it you will find some BIG TYPE that tells you that this is VALUABLE COVERAGE that PROTECTS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. Insurance regulators require by statute that insurers put this wording in BIG TYPE in your policy for good reason. It’s for your protection. You can reject this coverage but should know that there are better than one-in-five odds that the Florida driver who hits you is not insured. So, are you lucky – or wise?

About lynnem

Our blogger, Lynne McChristian, is the Florida representative for the Insurance Information Institute and is based in Tampa.
This entry was posted in Auto, General, Uninsured motorists. Bookmark the permalink.



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