Florida is renowned for its beautiful landscapes, sunny weather, and bustling roadways. However, the high volume of traffic and the fact that Florida is a no-fault insurance state make it essential for drivers to be adequately insured. Among the various types of auto insurance coverage available, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage plays a critical role in protecting drivers from potential financial losses. This blog will delve into the importance of having uninsured motorist coverage as a Florida driver, citing relevant data and expert opinions to support the argument.
Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of auto insurance that provides financial protection to drivers if they are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have liability insurance or has insufficient coverage to pay for the damages incurred. This coverage typically pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and other injury-related costs that result from an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. In some cases, it may also cover property damage.
According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), Florida has the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the United States, with an estimated 26.7% of drivers lacking insurance. This alarming statistic means that more than one in four drivers on Florida’s roads are uninsured, increasing the risk of financial losses for drivers involved in accidents with them. Given this high percentage, having uninsured motorist coverage becomes a necessity for Floridians to protect themselves financially in the event of an accident.
Florida is one of the few states that follow a no-fault insurance system, meaning that in the event of an accident, each driver’s insurance covers their own medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault. Personal injury protection (PIP) is mandatory in Florida, but it only covers up to $10,000 in medical expenses and lost wages. In cases where injuries are severe or costs exceed this limit, uninsured motorist coverage can step in to cover the remaining expenses, providing vital financial protection to the insured driver.
Insurance experts and legal professionals consistently recommend uninsured motorist coverage for Florida drivers. John Espenschied, an insurance expert and owner of Insurance Brokers Group, states, “With over 25% of drivers uninsured in Florida, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll be involved in an accident with an uninsured driver during your driving years.” See https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/uninsured-motorist-coverage/. Given this likelihood, Espenschied argues that uninsured motorist coverage is essential for financial protection.
Similarly, attorney David Shapiro., who specializes in personal injury cases, emphasizes the importance of UM coverage, stating that “it’s essential to have uninsured motorists to protect yourself. We have so many clients that are very frustrated when they’ve been hurt in an accident and there is little to no insurance coverage to pay for their injuries, treatment, and lost wages.” He explains that without this coverage, drivers are left to bear the financial burden of their injuries and damages, which can be substantial in serious accidents.
Several real-life examples illustrate the importance of uninsured motorist coverage for Florida drivers. In one case, a driver was involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, resulting in medical expenses that far exceeded the driver’s PIP coverage. Because the driver had uninsured motorist coverage, their insurance company was able to cover the remaining medical expenses, saving them from significant financial hardship.
In another example, a driver was hit by an uninsured motorist who fled the scene. With no at-fault driver to claim against, the victim’s uninsured motorist coverage provided financial assistance for their medical bills and property damage, preventing them from facing the financial consequences of the accident alone.
When selecting uninsured motorist coverage, it is essential to choose a coverage limit that aligns with your needs and financial situation. Experts generally recommend selecting a coverage limit equal to your current bodily injury liability limits. This ensures that you have sufficient coverage to protect yourself and your passengers in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Check the Florida uninsured motorist tool which gives you real-time estimate on rates for uninsured motorist coverage based on the county you live in.
Additionally, it’s crucial to consider factors such as your health insurance coverage, the number of passengers you typically transport, and your overall financial situation when determining the appropriate level of uninsured motorist coverage. Consulting with an insurance agent or financial planner can help you make an informed decision based on your unique circumstances.
While adding uninsured motorist coverage to your auto insurance policy will increase your premium, the cost is generally affordable, particularly when compared to the potential financial burden of an accident with an uninsured driver. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average cost of uninsured motorist coverage in Florida is approximately $270 per year. Given the high prevalence of uninsured drivers in the state, this relatively modest expense can provide valuable peace of mind and financial protection.
As a Florida driver, having uninsured motorist coverage is of paramount importance due to the state’s high rate of uninsured drivers, no-fault insurance system, and potential for substantial financial losses in the event of an accident. By carrying uninsured motorist coverage, you can protect yourself, your passengers, and your financial well-being in the face of unforeseen accidents. Consult with an insurance professional to determine the appropriate level of coverage for your specific needs and ensure that you are adequately protected on Florida’s busy roadways.