In Florida, drivers must have two types of insurance: personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PD). As you consider the optional coverage to include in your policy, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) is one that offers important benefits. UM allows you “to collect amounts from your own insurance carrier that you would have been able to collect from the at-fault party if they had insurance or sufficient insurance limits.” UM helps pay your expenses such as additional medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
PIP covers 80% of “all necessary and reasonable medical expenses incurred as a result of a covered injury” with a limit of $10,000 regardless of who is at fault. This coverage along with your health insurance may seem like enough protection against an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Health insurance plans, however, often high deductibles, and your insurance plan does not cover lost wages or pain and suffering.
At Phil Hall, PA, we have seen clients who have done the right thing and purchased the required insurance. They, however, have been seriously injured by an underinsured motorist and unable to work. Without UM, there is little recourse other than to sue the at-fault party personally. Most people, though, do not have the financial resources to cover pain and suffering, lost wages, and mounting medical bills.
Before declining this coverage, discuss your options with your insurance agent, and read more about this coverage in the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Automobile Insurance Toolkit: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/consumers/understandingcoverage/guides/documents/autotoolkit.pdf