Do I need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year on our public roads, and another 2.35 million are injured or disabled. Often times, the rights of car crash victims are restricted by insurance laws that vary from state to state. Florida law does not require motorists to carry liability insurance, insurance that compensates crash victims when others are at fault. Such insurance coverage is voluntary and whether motorists purchase this insurance most often depends on the motorist’s willingness to pay an additional premium. The result is many innocent victims of crashes resulting in death or serious injury have no recourse against the at fault driver.
Like many states, Florida insurance laws require insurance carriers to offer Uninsured Motorist Coverage to their customers, an optional coverage that protects innocent crash victims in cases where the at fault driver has no liability insurance or insufficient insurance coverage. Uninsured Motorist Coverage protects you in such situations such that the insurance company sits in the shoes of the uninsured driver.
As an example, if a passenger in a vehicle is stopped at a light and another vehicle crashes into the rear of the vehicle, the rear vehicle is generally legally responsible for injuries caused to occupants of the front vehicle. However, if the at fault vehicle made a decision to save money on insurance premiums and failed to purchase liability insurance, the injured motorist can still seek recovery for injures from his or her own insurance company, provided they purchased uninsured motorist coverage.
Because nearly 25% of all Florida drivers are uninsured, meaning 1 of every 4 drivers does not have liability coverage to compensate crash victims, it is critical for Florida drivers to carefully examine their current insurance policies to determine whether they have uninsured motorist coverage. If drivers are uncertain or have questions, they should discuss the issue with their insurance agent or their attorney to evaluate their current situation.