UM Coverage Is Designed to Protect You From Uninsured Drivers
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (“UM”) coverage is intended to protect you if you are struck by a driver who is uninsured (meaning, he has no insurance to cover your damages) or underinsured (meaning, he does not have enough insurance to cover your damages). If this occurs, i.e. you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist and you are injured, your own UM coverage will kick in to help cover your medical bills and other damages. Many drivers in Florida are uninsured or underinsured. This is why UM coverage is mandatory under Florida law as a supplement to bodily injury protection.
In 2017, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimated that one out of every eight drivers in the United States is currently uninsured, which is alarming considering the frequency of accidents and the sometimes catastrophic injuries they cause. This is why the Florida statute requires UM coverage, to protect law-abiding drivers who are injured by drivers without sufficient insurance. Drivers may also choose to purchase uninsured motorist property damage that covers damages to your vehicle caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
What UM Coverage Will Pay For
In the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, regardless of who was at-fault, UM coverage will cover you and your passengers for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
When you purchase UM coverage, you will decide the limits to set, meaning, the amount of coverage you would like to either cover or offset your damages if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. For example, if you choose to purchase $50,000 in UM coverage and you are struck and injured by an uninsured driver, you would have $50,000 of your own UM coverage to cover your damages. In the same example, assume you were struck and injured by an underinsured driver and your damages were $200,000. If the underinsured driver only carried $150,000 in liability coverage (meaning, coverage for injuries he causes to other drivers), your own UM coverage would kick in to provide the remaining $50,000 you would need to be made whole from the accident. This is why UM coverage is so important as it will insure you have a safety net to fall back on if you get into an accident with one of the many, many uninsured and underinsured motorists that are driving right alongside you every day.
If you have questions about what types of coverage you have, the amounts or “limits” of your coverage(s), and how the different types of coverage will interact together if you and/or your family members are injured in a car accident, don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call. It is critical to be sure you have sufficient insurance coverage to cover you and your family in case of an injury before an accident happens.