In a state where one in every five drivers has no liability insurance, the importance of purchasing uninsured motorist coverage in Florida is only growing. Despite legal requirements that every driver carry personal injury protection insurance (PIP) and liability insurance, there are some on the road that do not.
This is why insurance providers offer uninsured motorist coverage as extra security. If the other driver has no insurance, your policy will kick in to pay for losses you incur such as medical expenses and property damage. A lawyer from our firm can help you determine what damages your uninsured motorist policy covers.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is a separate insurance policy that insurance providers offer drivers in Florida. This policy lets drivers protect themselves in the event they get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Basically, you are purchasing liability insurance that covers your own losses just in case the other driver does not have liability insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage is not mandatory in Florida, but having it provides you with another level of protection. If the other driver does not have insurance, you will not be stuck paying expenses out of your own pocket.
Why Is Uninsured Motorist Protection Important?
Approximately 1 out of every 5 drivers in Florida have no insurance or too little insurance, according to the Insurance Research Council. This means there’s a 20 percent chance that the other driver of the vehicle you had an accident with won’t have liability insurance to cover your additional expenses when your PIP coverage runs out.
Florida is a no-fault state, so you must first file a claim for coverage by your PIP insurance, which covers damages such as medical bills and lost income. However, if the cost of your damages exceeds your coverage, the other driver’s liability coverage typically covers the expense. If the other driver does not have insurance and is at fault for the accident and your damages, this is where uninsured motorist coverage comes in handy. Your policy will cover these additional costs.
What Damages Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover?
After a car accident, your PIP coverage will kick in to pay for your losses. But if your PIP insurance runs out and you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you could be left paying the remaining expenses out of your pocket.
If you do have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance provider. If the car accident and your resulting losses are the fault of the other driver and the other driver does not carry liability insurance, your uninsured motorist coverage will pay for damages, including:
- Medical bills: Due to the cost of medical treatment, it’s possible your PIP coverage may not be enough to pay your medical expenses. These can include surgery, hospitalization, follow-up appointments, physical therapy, prescription medication, diagnostic tests, and more.
- Lost income: You could be temporarily or permanently unable to work because of your injuries, which means you cannot earn an income. Your uninsured motorist coverage can pick up the expenses where your PIP insurance left off.
- Property damage: You should be able to claim the cost of damage to your vehicle and other valuables inside the vehicle at the time of the accident.
- Wrongful death: If you lost someone you love in a car accident, we offer our condolences for your loss. You can claim wrongful death damages to cover funeral costs, medical bills, and lost income of the decedent.
- Pain and suffering: If you have a permanent injury, you can recover compensation for pain and suffering.
You have the right to make a claim and recover compensation for your losses. A car accident can cause serious injuries that can take a toll on your finances if your expenses exceed your coverage. Having uninsured motorist coverage serves as a safety net when the other driver has no liability insurance.
How Do You File an Uninsured Motorist Coverage Claim?
Uninsured motorist claims are similar to standard car insurance claims. You file the claim against your insurance company, which will proceed to investigate the accident and your claim. You should prepare to provide medical records, witness statements, and other forms of evidence to back up your claim. However, your insurance provider could deny your claim or delay a decision. Insurance companies are profit-driven, so they can be reluctant to approve and pay out compensation, even to policyholders who have a legitimate claim.
Your insurance provider could also offer a settlement, but these offers are typically lower than your claim is worth. Again, insurance companies are driven by profit so making a lowball offer and hoping you will accept it is common.
Statute of Limitations
You only have five years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit to recover uninsured motorist compensation, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11. This is different than the new two-year statute of limitations on pursuing a personal injury claim. Uninsured motorist claims are based on a contract of insurance. That means you have more time to make your claim or to file a lawsuit against the insurance provider for acting in bad faith for refusing to pay a legitimate claim.
A lawyer from our firm will work to meet the deadline in your case so you don’t lose your right to recover damages in court.
Learn More About Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida Today
You were in a car accident and another driver without insurance is at fault. You have injuries and financial losses serious enough that your PIP insurance won’t cover everything. You file an uninsured motorist claim, but the insurance company won’t approve.
A lawyer from GED Lawyers can review your uninsured motorist coverage policy and evaluate your case to determine if you are entitled to compensation and how much compensation you should receive.
Uninsured motorist coverage exists to provide extra protection when the other driver doesn’t have insurance. You did your part, now the insurance company must do theirs. If you or someone you love were in a car accident and the insurance provider won’t cover your claim, going through the legal process is an option.
To learn more about uninsured motorist coverage, or to talk to a lawyer about your case, contact us to schedule a free consultation today.