Gas, tune ups, washes and waxes; we understand — owning a car is expensive. However, one bill you never want to push to the wayside is automobile insurance, specifically uninsured motorist coverage. In Florida, you are only required to purchase PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and property damage liability coverage to lawfully operate a vehicle. Yet still, thousands go without insurance coverage every day. According to AutoInsurance.org, data from the Insurance Research Council shows that approximately 14% of drivers are uninsured. These uninsured drivers can face hefty fines and the suspension of their license and license plates for breaking this law.
PIP covers you for medical expenses and lost wages you incur in a car accident , regardless of fault, typically up to a limit of $10,000.00. PIP does not compensate you for pain and suffering, property damage liability covers you for property damages you incur as a result of your negligence.
That being said, is there a way to protect yourself from these uninsured/underinsured drivers? What happens if you are involved in an accident with someone that has insufficient or nonexistent auto coverage? Luckily, there is something called uninsured motorist coverage that may just save you from this potential headache. Without having uninsured motorist coverage, if the at fault driver is underinsured, you have no available coverage, other than your PIP to compensate you for your out of pocket expenses and most importantly no insurance to compensate you for your pain and suffering.
Facts You May Not Know About Uninsured Motorist Coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is not required by law.
- This coverage must be offered at the time of your policy purchase.
- If you neglect to purchase this insurance, you must document your rejection in writing.
- Uninsured motorist coverage also protects you from underinsured individuals.
- You can purchase what is called “stacking” uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and we recommend that everyone do so, even if you only have one vehicle.
We cannot emphasize the importance of purchasing stacking uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage more, as there is a very real risk of encountering uninsured and underinsured drivers anytime you sit behind the wheel. This is more than just a preventative practice; it is an armor and shield against the unknown of the open road. Drive safe and stay protected.