Florida Insurance Coverage Requirements
In Florida, one out of every four drivers does not carry liability insurance coverage. Moreover, many drivers who do maintain liability insurance coverage only maintain a bare minimum amount. Unfortunately, Florida does not require drivers to maintain any amount of bodily injury liability insurance coverage. The law only requires Florida drivers to maintain automobile insurance providing $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection coverage (“PIP coverage”), which is no-fault insurance that covers the cost of one’s medical care and lost wages up to the policy limits (regardless of fault).
It is not uncommon for Florida drivers to become involved in a motor vehicle accident that results in injuries and damages for which there is little or no liability insurance coverage. This could be because the negligent party did not maintain any (or very little) bodily liability coverage, and the injured party did not maintain any uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It is imperative that you discuss the level of insurance needed to protect yourself from any personal liability exposure (that may result from your negligence) and to provide you.
Importance of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (“UM/UIM”) coverage is insurance that you purchase from your insurer for yourself in the event that you are involved in an injury accident with a negligent driver who maintains little or no liability insurance coverage. The coverage has two components—uninsured motorist coverage to protect you when you are harmed by a negligent driver who does not have any liability insurance, and underinsured motorist coverage to protect you when a negligent driver does not maintain a sufficient amount of liability coverage to compensate for your damages. UM/UIM coverage would help cover the costs for present and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and damages like pain and suffering, loss of consortium and disability.
Florida law (§627.727, Fla. Stat.) requires that automobile insurance companies offer UM/UIM coverage unless it is specifically rejected in writing by the named insured. You might wonder how much UM/UIM insurance should be purchased for adequate protection. The law dictates that an insured may not select UM/UIM coverage limits that exceed the amount of the insured’s bodily injury liability coverage. Additionally, if a policy provides coverage for more than one vehicle, the same UM/UIM policy limit must be selected for each vehicle. In light of the above, we recommend maintaining a policy of UM/UIM coverage in an amount which you may afford. Your insurance agent can provide you with several different quotes based upon different levels of coverage, and then you should choose an amount of insurance coverage that best fits within your
Tampa Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage Attorneys
The Tampa car accidents lawyers at Capaz Law Firm are experienced personal injury attorneys who will counsel you regarding any insurance, injury or damage claim arising out of an automobile accident. If you have been injured in a car crash due to the negligence of another driver, contact our Tampa office for a free consultation.