Everyone Needs Uninsured Motorist Coverage!!
The photo above was taken by one of our clients, John (name changed for anonymity), following his January 15, 2021 car crash. John took the photo shortly after being rear-ended. He was feeling pain, needed medical care and his car was severly damaged. John hired us to make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, we were forced to break bad news to him shortly after taking on the case. The person driving the 2020 Range Rover had no bodily injury auto insurance—which by the way is totally legal. As such, we couldn’t help John go after the other driver for his personal injury. Fortunately, John was smart enough to purchase uninsured motorist coverage which protects him in the event he or a family member is hit by an (1) uninsured driver, (2) underinusred driver or (3) hit-and-run driver.
According to a new study by the Insurance Research Council*, 20.4% of Florida drivers are uninusred. Beyond that, even if a party does carry auto insurance, the insurance coverage may be bare-bones and not payout any money to third parties for bodily injuries. Florida law only requires vehicle owners to carry $10,000 of property damage insurance coverage as well as personal-injury-protection. There is no requirement to carry liability insurance to compensate accident victims for their personal bodily injuries.
Some insurance companies are notorious for selling bare-bones insurance policies without bodily injury coverage. If you are victim in an auto accident and see the other side has Ocean Harbor, The General, Pearl Holdings, National Security or Infitiy Insurance, chances are the other driver has a barebones insurance policy. Make sure to ask the officer drafting the police report to provide you the name of the other driver’s insurance company as well as their policy number. You will want to contact the insurance carrier ASAP and find out if they carry “Bodily Injury” on their auto policy. If not, hopefully you have uninsured motorist coverage.
If you are hit by someone with no bodily injury coverage there are 2 choices to continue with a claim: (1) pursue your own insurance if you have uninsured motorist coverage, or (2) sue the at-fault driver personally in civil court. Unfortunately, the second option is usually not viable. It is very easy to hide and protect assets in Florida so unless the other driver is very wealthy, or a corporation, chasing them in court for their personal assets is futile. That makes choice number one ideal. Make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage. We recommend at least $100,000 of coverage. We also recommend to purchasing staking coverages. Feel free to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys to learn more about insurance coverages. Our phone number is 561-266-9191. We always offer free consultations and you are entitled to speak with a partner at our firm.