Too often, we meet with car accident victims who have sustained serious injuries, only to find out that they did not carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. In addition, the at-fault driver carried either no insurance, no bodily injury insurance on the policy or only had minimal bodily injury limits.
For some strange reason, Florida does not require drivers to carry bodily injury insurance, which compensates an injured individual for the negligence of the other driver. In Florida, you are considered properly insured if you carry personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability coverage.
We advise all of our clients to carry underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage on their policies. This is because an estimated one out of seven drivers in the U.S., according to Insurance Research Council, are uninsured. If you are unfortunately injured in an accident with one of these drivers and you do not carry adequate car insurance, your finances can be seriously underinsured/uninsured motorist applies if the other driver is at fault and did not carry any bodily injury insurance or not enough bodily injury insurance to compensate you for your injuries. This type of coverage also applies if you are the victim of a hit and run accident, or what is sometimes called a “phantom vehicle.”
Unstacked or “non-stacking” underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage equals the limit listed on your policy whereas “stacking” coverage means that you increase the limits listed on your policy for each vehicle that is insured on the policy.
The downside to purchasing underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage is that it increases your premium and your limits cannot exceed you bodily injury limits. However, the advantages of carrying this form of coverage completely outweighs not having the coverage assuming the coverage is affordable. Therefore, we advise everyone to carry underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage and recommend stacking coverage over non-stacking, as stacking coverage always gives the insured the most benefits and applies in situations when the “non-stacked.”
If you, a friend or a loved one are unfortunately injured as a result of an auto accident or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Wieland, Hilado & DeLattre, P.A. at (407) 841-7699. For additional resources, keep checking our blog, LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to always be informed about best practices in law.