Why You Need Automobile Uninsured Motorist Insurance

The Russo Law Firm specializes in Personal Injury, Homeowners Insurance Disputes, and Debt Litigation Defense.

We write this article because some of our personal injury clients have been involved in serious accidents by negligent drivers who did not have any insurance or assets.  Under these types of unfortunate circumstances our clients would have greatly benefited if our clients had maintained uninsured motorist insurance.  Uninsured motorist insurance (UM) is an insurance purchased from your own insurance company which provides you with insurance coverage if the driver that injures you either does not have bodily injury insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your losses. Your insurance rates do not increase if you make a claim for UM benefits.

According to a study conducted by the Florida Insurance Research Council (IRC), 23% of all drivers on Florida roads are uninsured.  That means that approximately one in every four drivers does not have insurance.  If a driver does not have insurance, then it is also unlikely that driver has any recoverable assets.  According to the IRC, Florida has among the highest uninsured motorist rate in the U.S.  Further, there are even more drivers, who are insured, but fail to maintain an adequate level of bodily injury insurance.  Thus, if your personal injuries are great, the at fault driver’s limited insurance will not cover all of your damages.

Florida law allows insurance companies to sell what is commonly referred to as “full coverage” automobile insurance.  However, full coverage is a misleading term.  Full coverage fails to meet the minimum requirements by law, because the coverage only includes limited property damage insurance and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance but fails to include bodily injury coverage even though $10,000.00 bodily injury coverage is required by Florida Statute.  Bodily injury coverage is sperate and distinct from PIP coverage.  PIP coverage does not protect you if your injury someone else and they make a claim against you.  Therefore, if your insurance agent has informed you that you have “full coverage” it is important to understand that your coverage could be very limited and does not include uninsured motorist insurance.

We make this recommendation to obtain UM insurance because the last thing we would want is for one of our clients to be injured by a negligent driver and then unfortunately be forced to make a limited recovery (or no recovery at all) because the negligent driver either has no assets or failed to maintain proper automobile insurance.

You can always contact our firm if you have any questions regarding the different types of insurance.