Dellutri Law Group - March 2020

Beware of Uninsured or

Underinsured Drivers

A recent study by the Insurance Research Council found that 1 in 8 U.S. drivers has no insurance. The study also found the number of uninsured drivers is on the rise. This means people with insurance will pay out of pocket when an accident does happen — even if that accident was the fault of an uninsured driver! In other words, uninsured drivers (and drivers who do not have enough insurance) put insured drivers at significant risk. But, wait — how can uninsured drivers be allowed to operate a vehicle at all? How can it even be legal to drive a heavy vehicle without any kind of insurance? Great question. The good news is that in the state of Florida at least, you cannot drive a vehicle of any kind without insurance (Virginia, New Hampshire, and Mississippi drivers are not so lucky, though, since I’m told those states do not require insurance in order to operate a vehicle). Even though it is illegal to drive without insurance in Florida, many drivers are still severely underinsured, which will result in your paying more out of pocket if you are injured in a car accident that involves an uninsured or underinsured driver. That’s where uninsured motorist (UM) coverage comes into play.

WHAT IS UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE?

someone who might be injured by that owner’s negligence. In my opinion, 60% of the people on Florida roadways are either uninsured or underinsured. This is why it’s important to consider UM coverage if you can afford it. If you choose to underinsure yourself or simply cannot afford to purchase adequate auto insurance, you may be sued if you injure someone else in an accident and do not have adequate coverage. So, ask yourself: Can you drive without UM coverage? Yes. Is it a good idea? Not at all. Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured and underinsured drivers, so it’s a good idea to make sure you are covered if one of those drivers hits you or if you hit someone else.

UM coverage can be added to your auto insurance policy in case an uninsured or underinsured driver hits and injures you. UM coverage acts as a reinsurer of the bad driver who caused the accident, and it pays for the injuries incurred if you are hurt by an underinsured driver. The state of Florida only requires two types of insurance coverage. The first is property damage, and that coverage does nothing for bodily injuries. The second coverage is personal injury protection (PIP). PIP provides $10,000 in personal injury protection, but this protection only covers the owner of the vehicle and not

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