In selecting auto insurance, the sometimes unfamiliar terminology and scant explanations can be understandably daunting, particularly when balancing significant considerations such as your budget and the coverage needed for you and your family. But a less than fully informed decision can have significant consequences down the road. One of the more important examples of this is uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, or UM coverage, on your policy. This coverage protects you in the event of an accident caused by another driver who lacks any insurance or sufficient insurance to pay for injuries you may have arising from the accident.
At first glance, this coverage may seem secondary in importance, but consider that the standards for minimum required car insurance in the state of Florida are among the very lowest in the country. What this means is that Florida does not mandate that motorists carry the insurance coverage that would often be necessary to cover injuries you may have arising from an accident for which they are at fault.
Also consider that, based on a 2015 study, an estimated 26.70% of Florida drivers were entirely uninsured, giving the state the highest estimated percentage of uninsured motorists in the country. Based on this study, approximately 1 in 4 Florida drivers did not carry any insurance, let alone the low level of insurance actually required by the state.
This is why you may have heard the recommendation that, in addition to bodily injury liability coverage, drivers obtain UM coverage of at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence. It is a decision that may seem trivial at the time, but in a state with a high percentage of uninsured drivers and low insurance minimums to boot, it is one that could have significant consequences. As always, it is important to take the time to fully understand all of your coverage options and consult with an authorized agent when making your decision.
Dreyfus Law, P.A. is a full service Civil Litigation Law Firm in Clearwater, Florida that has been serving the Tampa Bay area for over 30 years. Our areas of practice include Divorce & Family Law, Personal Injury, Estate Planning & Probate Litigation, Civil Litigation, and Business & Corporate Law. To schedule a consultation, please call our office at (727) 442-1144.