Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) Coverage Worth It?
When choosing additional coverage on your automobile policy, it is important to know whether the optional coverage is worth the cost.
Without mincing words, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage commonly referred to as “UM” coverage, is absolutely worth the cost in the State of Florida.
As attorney Sarah Vega explained in her blog – Florida is one of the few states that does not require Bodily Injury (BI) coverage, allowing tens of thousands of drivers on the road to be underinsured in addition to the over 20% of drivers with no insurance. UM coverage is the only surefire protection for you and your loved ones in the case of an accident.
When Would I Need UM Coverage?
- : Uninsured At-Fault Driver You are in a car accident; the at-fault driver does not have Bodily Injury coverage. If you purchased UM coverage, you can make an injury claim against your UM policy. This enables you to recover for all your injuries, outstanding medical expenses, wage loss, pain, and suffering, etc.
- : Hit-and-Run Accident You are in a car accident; the at-fault driver flees the scene. Law enforcement has been unable to apprehend the other driver. Again, if you purchased UM coverage, you can make a claim against your UM policy and recover accordingly.
- : Underinsured At-Fault Driver You are in a car accident; the at-fault driver has minimal Bodily Injury coverage that does not fully cover the expenses related to your injury, lost wages or pain and suffering. In this case, you first make a claim against the at-fault driver’s Bodily Injury policy, and if you have UM coverage, you may also make a claim against your UM policy for the remaining expenses and damages.
- : Struck by an Uber/Lyft You are a pedestrian or cyclist struck by a ride-for-hire driver (i.e. Uber/Lyft). The Uber/Lyft driver is not required to have a personal policy more than the state-required minimums – so he does not have BI coverage.
- : Alternatively, the at-fault Uber/Lyft driver carries BI coverage, but his policy is invalidated because he did not tell his insurance carrier that he drives for Uber/Lyft. Uber and Lyft have insurance policies that on the surface seem applicable to these types of accidents, but there are several requirements that must be met in order for the company policy to apply. Since the laws around ride-share (Uber/Lyft) is new and evolving – often times Uber and Lyft deny or fight claims, delaying coverage or limiting your recovery solely to your own UM policy.
How Much UM Coverage Do I Need?
UM coverage can be purchased in the amount equal to or less than the Bodily Injury coverage you have on the policy. Further, you can pay for the coverage to be “stacked” – meaning the coverage is multiplied by the number of vehicles on the policy.
- : One Vehicle on Your Policy Your auto policy has Bodily Injury coverage of 100/300. There is only one vehicle on your policy. You can purchase UM in the amount of 100/300 or less. There is no need to purchase “Stacked UM” because there is only one vehicle on the policy.
- : Multiple Vehicles on Your Policy Your auto policy has BI coverage of 100/300. There are three vehicles on your policy. You decide to purchase Stacked UM in the amount of 100/300. Since there are three vehicles on the policy, the total coverage available is 300/600 if you are involved in a car accident. Alternatively, you can decide to purchase Non-Stacked UM in the amount of 100/300 or less.
Including Bodily Injury coverage to your policy protects you and your assets in the event that you are the one at-fault in an accident. It is just as important to protect you and your family by purchasing UM coverage in case you, are the injured party in a car accident.
Since BI coverage is not required in Florida, at least one in four & up to almost 50% drivers on the road are underinsured or uninsured – it is essential to purchase as much UM coverage as your budget allows.
Call Rubenstein Law if you find yourself involved in an accident. We have been protecting the rights of the injured since 1988, and we want to help you in your time of legal need. We are here for you 24/7. Call us at 1-800-FL-LEGAL for a free case review.