By Ricky D. Gordon, Attorney at Law
Check your automobile insurance policy. Do you have uninsured motorist coverage (UM)? It is the most important coverage you can have to protect yourself and your resident relatives.
Florida leads the nation with 26.7% of uninsured motorists.
Florida is the only state that does not require bodily injury liability coverage.
Did you know that the bare minimum requirements for automobile insurance is (1) personal injury protection (PIP) that covers you for accident-related medical bills up to $10,000, and (2) property damage liability coverage that pays for damages to another’s vehicle up to $10,000 if the accident is your fault? That’s all you need to get your license tag. All other coverages are elective.
Did you know that if you elect to have bodily injury (BI) liability coverage that stackable UM coverage is automatically included on your policy for the same limits as your BI coverage, UNLESS, you sign an election to have lower UM limits and/or non-stackable UM limits, or, completely reject UM coverage? Stackable coverage adds the UM limits of all vehicles in your household. Example: if you have $25,000 of stackable UM limits on each of 3 vehicles, then you will have $75,000 of UM benefits available to compensate you for your injuries in addition to any BI coverage.
BI covers the at-fault person for the injuries caused to another. UM coverage protects you for your injuries if an at-fault person is uninsured (meaning no BI coverage) or is underinsured for the full value of your injury claim. Examples: (1) If the at-fault person has no BI coverage and you have no UM coverage, then there is no insurance to cover you for your accident-related injuries. (2) If the at-fault person has no BI coverage and you have UM coverage, then the amount of your UM coverage will provide the limit of insurance to compensate you for your accident-related pain and suffering. (3) $10,000 is the minimum amount of BI and UM coverages. If the at-fault person has $10,000 or more of BI coverage and you have no UM coverage, then only the amount of BI coverage will be available to compensate you for your accident-related pain and suffering. (4) If the at-fault person has BI coverage and you have UM coverage but, the BI coverage is not sufficient enough to compensate you for your injuries, then the at-fault person is underinsured in which case your UM coverage (also known as underinsurance motorist coverage) would be available to pay the additional value of your claim to the extent of your limits, over and above the BI limits.
While the examples may sound complicated, they illustrate the importance of having UM coverage to protect you if an uninsured or underinsured motorist causes an accident and you suffer injuries.
UM coverage is a necessity.
Insurance is something we should always have and hope to never have to use.
If you are in accident or would like advice on your insurance policy, call Ricky Gordon as soon as possible to explore your options at (954) 753-0200.
See www.RickyDGordon.com or