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The importance of Uninsured and Under-insured motorist

Advice from Personal Injury Attorney, Ben Shell.

I would like to take a minute to discuss something that I believe to be the most important provision of your automobile policy. What I’m talking about is uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage (UM). Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage provides a valuable source of recovery after a car accident, when someone is injured by another driver who is uninsured or does not have adequate insurance.

People often think that because they have insurance on their car, they are protected.  But as a personal injury attorney, let me tell you, this could not be more wrong.

To put this into perspective, I would like you to imagine a scenario. What happens if you are driving in Florida, and you’re hit by an uninsured driver and you do not have uninsured motorist coverage (UM)?  If you’re in a car accident with a driver who does not have auto insurance, you can lose everything, including any right to collect for your pain and suffering, and injuries. Importantly, this coverage protects not only yourself, but also any passengers in your vehicle.

Now for those of you who are sitting there thinking that this situation could never happen to you, I would like you to consider one thing. According to the Insurance Research Council, 23.8% of drivers in the state of Florida are uninsured. When you’re driving home today, I want you to imagine that one out of every four vehicles on the road is uninsured.

Now this 23.8% statistic only documents uninsured drivers and does not even consider underinsured drivers. For example, suppose you are in a car accident and you incur $25,000 in medical bills. If the at-fault driver carries liability insurance with a policy limit of $10,000, the at-fault driver is underinsured. In a situation like this, you would need to have uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto policy, or else you could be stuck owing an extra $15,000 dollars for an accident that was not your fault. This does not take into consideration the amount of pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident.

But with the right auto insurance, this does not have to happen.