Auto accidents with uninsured motorists in Florida are a common occurrence. An estimated 24 percent of drivers do not have auto insurance, even though it is illegal, according to the Insurance Research Council. It can be a devastating turn of events if you do not have the optional uninsured motorist coverage on your policy and are involved in a serious accident with an uninsured driver.
“The mistake many people make is thinking that optional means unnecessary, and that is a costly mistake considering the high numbers of uninsured and underinsured drivers on the road,” said Lynne McChristian, Florida representative for the Insurance Information Institute. “You cannot gamble that the other driver’s insurance will be sufficient to take care of you if you are injured in a car crash, so bet on taking care of yourself.”
Coverage for an uninsured motorist helps protect drivers not only from uninsured drivers but drivers who do not have adequate insurance and hit-and-run drivers. When an at-fault driver does not have the insurance needed to cover auto damages or serious injury costs they inflicted on you, this can leave you scrambling to find a way to pay for all the repair and medical bills. Unless you have a successful lawsuit against the driver or enough savings to pay for these costs, adding uninsured motorist coverage to your policy can give you peace of mind that you will not have to go through this.
The optional bodily injury liability part of your coverage is also a wise addition. Bodily injury liability coverage is for when you are legally liable for a collision and must pay for another driver’s or passenger’s injuries. This also comes in handy should you let others drive your car with permission and they cause an accident.
The minimum, required property damage liability (PDL) coverage of $10,000 and personal injury protection (PIP) of $10,000 can vanish very quickly in a serious accident. Even part-time or seasonal Florida residents must carry this coverage if they live in the state for more than 90 days and are encouraged to get the uninsured motorist and bodily injury added to their coverage. For drivers in the state, they should speak to a qualified Florida auto insurance agent to discuss their options and what deductibles they are comfortable with. Varying the deductible will modify the monthly auto insurance premium.