The different aspects of auto insurance are geared to cover specific risks that a driver might face on or off the road. Uninsured and underinsured motorist is designed to protect you in case a driver who is not carrying insurance (or enough insurance) causes a wreck you are involved in.
For example, say another driver causes a wreck. You want to file a claim with their insurer so you can receive compensation through their liability insurance only to discover that they don’t have liability insurance. This means you will be responsible for covering the damages. Not everyone can afford to pay for damages and injuries out of pocket, however, which is where uninsured and underinsured motorist steps in.
If you are involved in an accident with another driver who is not carrying insurance, uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for damages to your vehicle in place of the other driver’s liability coverage.
However, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is not required in Florida. This is often surprising to most people, especially considering the fact that Florida is ranked the number one state when it comes to the number of uninsured drivers at just around 26.7%.
What Insurance is Required in Florida?
Florida auto insurance requirements are lower than in most states. All drivers in Florida are legally required to carry a minimum of:
- $10,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $20,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $10,000 in property damage liability
- $10,000 in personal injury protection
Keep in mind that these are only the minimum requirements set by the state and do not represent how much insurance you should have. In most cases, it is recommended that drivers carry full coverage auto insurance to protect their vehicle.
What Does Full Coverage Include in Florida?
Full coverage simply refers to the highest amount of coverage you can place on a single vehicle for the utmost protection. A full coverage auto insurance policy in Florida may generally include:
- Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage provides compensation for damages to the vehicle caused by fire, wind, hail, lightning, smoke, theft, vandalism and other incidents not involving collision.
- Collision Coverage: Collision coverage provides compensation for damages to your vehicle caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.
- Personal Injury Protection: Personal injury protection (PIP) provides coverage for medical bills you and your passengers may face after an accident no matter who is at fault for the accident.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This insurance covers damages incurred in an accident involving an uninsured driver.
- Roadside Assistance: Roadside assistance covers trip interruption expenses such as running out of gas or needing to be towed.
Speak with your insurance agent if you want to adjust your car insurance policy. Not all auto insurance policies are created the same and you will want coverage tailored to protect your vehicle.
Is Florida a Fault State?
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents and car insurance. This means that no matter who causes an accident, each driver will be expected to file a claim with their own insurer for injuries. This is why personal injury protection (PIP) is required by state law.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t seek compensation from the other driver, however. If another driver causes an accident, you can seek compensation from their liability insurance to cover damages to your vehicle. If they have liability insurance, you can file a claim with their insurer. If they don’t have insurance, however, you will have to file a claim on your own uninsured motorist coverage.
Fault is generally decided by a police report and/or through a court or your insurance provider. If you are at fault for an accident, another driver can file a claim on your liability insurance policy.
Make sure to contact your insurance agent whenever an accident happens even if you are unsure whether or not you will file a claim. Failing to keep your insurance agent in the loop about an accident and affect how you can get compensation in the future.
What Happens if You Don’t Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida?
If the other driver doesn’t have liability insurance and you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you will be expected to pay for the damages out of pocket. Be sure to speak with your insurance agent about making changes and insuring your vehicle with the coverage it needs.
With the highest number of uninsured drivers in the U.S., Florida roadways pose high risks of accidents involving drivers who are not carrying insurance.
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