The lawmakers in each state are able to determine what amount of insurance is required to legally operate a vehicle on public roads. Most states require motorists to obtain a certain amount of bodily injury liability coverage to ensure that an accident victim is able to recover – at least in part – for the injuries they sustained. However, Florida lawmakers left the bulk of the decision to obtain car insurance in the hands of the individual motorists.
Unlike many other states, Florida law only requires motorists to obtain $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability. Personal injury protection, also called “no fault insurance” covers the motorist (and other qualifying individuals) up to the policy maximum, without a showing of fault.
While this sounds good in theory, by not requiring motorists obtain additional bodily injury liability coverage, few motorists have coverage beyond the bare minimum PIP. This means that many Florida motorists do not have insurance to cover the medical expenses of those who are injured in an accident that they caused. Given the state’s lax insurance requirements, it is no surprise that Florida ranks among the worst states for uninsured and underinsured drivers.
This is where uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) protection comes into play. A policy containing UIM coverage will provide compensation for a motorist’s injuries in the event that the at-fault motorist does not have insurance or does not have adequate insurance coverage. This is especially important in a state like Florida, where so many drivers are uninsured or have such little coverage. However, UIM coverage is not required in Florida.
In Florida, the default is that all insurance policies with bodily injury protection come with an equal amount of UM coverage. Florida law also allows for motorists to determine whether their insurance coverage “stacks.” If a policy stacks with other policies, then the motorist can tap into several policies, combining the total amount of available coverage. For example, if a family has three cars, each with $50,000 UM coverage, a policy that allows stacking would permit recovery of up to $150,000. Motorists can also stack across policies, meaning that if a motorist is covered under two separate stacked policies, he can recover under each policy, up to that policy’s maximum.
In Florida, UM insurance is extremely important. And a lack of UM coverage may result in a motorist having no avenue of recovery after a Florida car accident.
Have You Been Injured in a Florida Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Florida car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. If you have UM coverage, you are in a better position, but even if you do not have UM coverage yourself contact the dedicated South Florida personal injury lawyers at Cecere Santana. Florida car insurance policies can be complex, and you may be covered under a policy without knowing it. To learn more, call 800-753-5529 to schedule a free consultation today.
See Additional Blog Posts:
Wrongful Death Claims Following Florida Auto Accidents, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, September 5, 2018.
Update: Investigation Sheds Additional Light on Florida Roller Coaster Accident, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, published August 27, 2018.