Will you be covered if you get into a collision? If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage chances are good that the answer is “YES.” Most attorneys and auto insurance industry experts recommend this type of insurance coverage, but many drivers do not have it. You might think that because your state requires drivers to be insured, most people are. However, according to the Insurance Research Council, the estimated number of uninsured drivers in Florida is almost 1 out of 4 drivers.
Consider that when the economy is down, people are looking for ways to cut costs and some people let their insurance lapse. Also consider that even if people have some insurance, the limits may be too low to cover your financial hardship after an accident. This is why we urge all of our clients, friends, and family members to purchase this valuable coverage and ask that it be “stacked.”
What is UM or UIM Coverage?
Uninsured or underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage can pay for injuries to you and your passengers, when there is an accident and the other driver is both legally responsible for the accident and considered “uninsured” or “underinsured.”
An uninsured driver is someone who does not have any insurance, has insurance that does not meet state-mandated minimum liability requirements, or whose insurance company denied their claim or was not financially able to pay it. A hit-and-run driver also counts as uninsured as it relates to bodily injury that you may have incurred.
An underinsured driver is someone who has insurance that meets minimum legal requirements, but does not have payment limits high enough to pay for the damage caused by the accident. In these situations, UM or UIM can pay you for your damages.
“Stacking” UM or UIM coverages may allow your coverage limits to stack onto other UIM or UM policies and thereby multiplying your coverage limits. It’s usually relatively inexpensive to add UM/UIM coverage to your car insurance, especially considering the amount of protection it offers. It could pay your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If someone hits you or your car and is legally responsible for the damages, you won’t get any money from them if they don’t have money to give you. Especially during times when people are struggling economically, many drivers either do not have insurance or do not have enough insurance. If you have UM/UIM, you can get financial assistance even if the other driver doesn’t have enough to cover the accident.
The Myth of “Full Coverage”
Many insurance agents may claim to sell you “full coverage” insurance and as such, you may believe you are indeed “fully” covered when you are in a collision. Do not believe these claims. There is no such thing as “full coverage.” What “full coverage” usually means is that the agent selling you their product is selling the minimum that is required under Florida Law. There are many insurance products out there that will give you additional and necessary protection when you are injured. The one we feel is very important to add to your policy is the “stacked” UM/UIM coverage.
Insurance coverages and products could be made more consumer-friendly but the Insurance Industry fights hard against any regulation on their products.
If you have been injured in a recent accident, have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence, Gillin, Gillin & Lindbaek can help. Located in Brevard County, Florida, our dedicated team has decades of combined experience that they’re ready to put to work for you. Specializing in personal injury, insurance claims, wrongful death claims, trip/slip/fall accidents as well as car, motorcycle and truck accidents, you can trust our attorneys to personally represent you. Call Gillin, Gillin & Lindbaek at 321-729-1444 for a FREE consultation. Get the personal service and results you deserve!
– Chris Lindbaek