Most people who own a car believe they have “full coverage” for their car insurance; however, as a lawyer who handles personal injury claims, “full coverage” means something very different to me than it may mean to you.
Florida requires only two types of coverage: personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability. It is estimated that one out of three drivers in Florida only have the minimum required coverage. It is important that you be fully protected in the event one of those drivers injures you due to a rear-end collision or other accident which is not your fault.
Therefore, it is extremely important that you properly protect yourself by carrying uninsured motorist coverage (U.M.). If you have more than one vehicle, I strongly recommend “stacking”, which allows you to combine your coverage on each of your cars. Stacking is well worth the small additional premium.
Your U.M. coverage also stands for underinsured motorist coverage.
This means that you can make a claim against the other driver’s insurance and get the total amount available under that policy and still make an additional claim under your U.M. coverage if your injury justifies it.
During our forty years of handling personal injury cases, we have often had to turn clients away who were seriously injured through no fault of their own where the negligent party did not have bodily injury liability coverage, and they did not have U.M. coverage. With UM coverage the client can still make a claim for damages even if the at fault driver was not insured. If you do make an uninsured motorist claim with your own company, this should not affect your premium since you were not at fault.
Your uninsured motorist coverage follows you wherever you go.
You can make an uninsured motorist claim if you are driving a rental car, driving someone else’s car, a passenger, a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or injured in another state. This coverage provides you the maximum protection to insure that you will be compensated fully for your injuries if someone else is at fault.