What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida?
- What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida?
To be a safe driver in the Sunshine state, you must have adequate coverage on your Florida auto insurance policy. This means that legally, you must have some personal injury protection and property damage liability in Florida. To be safe on Florida’s roads, however, also means you will want some uninsured motorist coverage.
The number of uninsured motorists in Florida is statistically much higher than average. About 20% of Florida drivers, or one in five, are uninsured motorists. With such a high number of uninsured drivers, it may be in your best interest to have uninsured motorist coverage in Florida.
Let’s examine how you can protect yourself from uninsured and underinsured motorists in Florida.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida?
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in Florida is a type of coverage that helps you file with your own insurance if you’re in an accident where the at-fault party causes damage to you or your car and doesn’t have adequate coverage to help pay for your expenses.
When you get into an accident and suffer injuries or damage to your car, you typically file a claim with the at-fault party’s auto insurance to receive compensation to help you cover the cost of damages. However, suppose you’re in an accident with an uninsured at-fault party and don’t have uninsured motorist coverage. In that case, you may be on the hook for all the expenses associated with your accident.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Cover in Florida?
Florida uninsured motorist coverage covers the policyholder if they are in an accident caused by a person who has no auto insurance or doesn’t have adequate coverage. Depending on how much uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage the policyholder has, it will kick in to help pay their medical expenses.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage differs from state to state regarding what type of expenses it will cover. For example, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in Florida will only cover medical expenses for the policyholder who is the victim of an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. This type of coverage is technically called uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury or UMBI/UIMBI. The medical expenses UMBI/UIMBI typically cover are generally the same as those covered by PIP. They are:
- Doctor’s and hospital visits
- Diagnostic tests, like X-rays, MRIs, etc.
- Loss of wages
Some states have uninsured or underinsured motorist property damage insurance, but Florida isn’t among them.
Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Required in Florida?
Drivers aren’t legally required to have uninsured motorist (UM) in Florida. In Florida, drivers are only legally required to have at least $10,000 of property damage liability and $10,000 of personal injury protection, or PIP. While UM isn’t legally required in Florida, adding this optional coverage to your auto insurance policy may be a good idea.
Florida has one of the nation’s highest uninsured and underinsured motorist rates. Nearly 20% of Florida drivers are uninsured motorists, meaning it’s wise to add UM or UIM to your auto insurance policy. You have a higher statistical likelihood of getting into a car accident with an uninsured motorist in Florida than in most other places in the nation.
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Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida?
Technically, you don’t need uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) in Florida, as it isn’t legally required. However, it’s a good idea to have some UM/UIM in Florida to protect yourself against the high number of uninsured and underinsured motorists in the state.
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning its drivers must legally carry personal injury protection coverage or PIP. PIP is a type of coverage you would use if you’re injured in an accident and need assistance paying your medical expenses. In at-fault states, drivers typically file claims with the at-fault party’s insurance. Since Florida is a no-fault state, drivers must first file a claim with their own insurance.
States with no-fault laws typically have a high number of uninsured drivers. These laws were designed to help people truly interested in staying safe on the roads. No-fault laws allow drivers to insure themselves instead of carrying insurance so other drivers on Florida’s roads would be protected should they be involved in an accident with the policyholder.
Should You Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida?
Here at Clovered, we like to err on the side of caution, so we think drivers in Florida should have some uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on their auto insurance policies. A good rule of thumb is to have enough coverage so you are comfortable paying your premiums, but you are also comfortable with what you have saved if you do have to dip into your savings to cover expenses caused by a car accident.
For example, let’s say you have the legal minimum coverage in Florida, which is $10,000 of property damage liability and personal injury protection (PIP). If you’re seriously injured in an accident, you will first file a claim with your own insurance to invoke your $10,000 of PIP coverage. Let’s say, though, that the accident caused much more than $10,000 of medical expenses. Once your PIP runs out, typically, you would proceed with filing a claim with the at-fault party’s auto insurance policy.
However, if the at-fault party is uninsured or doesn’t have adequate insurance to cover your medical expenses, you may not be able to cover those medical expenses with money from an auto insurance company.
Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to prevent the policyholder from paying for their medical expenses when the at-fault party should be paying. If you’re seriously injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, once you invoke your PIP to cover your medical expenses, and that runs out, you would then invoke your uninsured motorist coverage to help you cover what’s left of your bills.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida Cost?
Florida uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is generally pretty inexpensive, costing just a few extra dollars on your monthly premiums or about $50 to $100 on your annual premium. The cost of your UM/UIM coverage will depend on how much coverage you want and your insurance company, so be sure to check with your agent when selecting your UM/UIM coverage to see how it will impact your premiums.
If your insurer quotes you for a new premium with UM/UIM coverage that’s way out of your price range, you may want to consider shopping around online for a new insurance company. The best way to get and compare auto insurance premiums online is to get quotes, and lucky for you, you can do that right here with our free quoting tool.
Rethink your auto insurance premium with a free quote from the nation's top companies.
The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.