One of the biggest myths about Florida automobile insurance is that the “full-coverage” policies available from all major insurance providers in the state will cover all the costs and expenses related to a motor vehicle accident. As it turns out, the name of these auto insurance plans is a misnomer, as they are full-coverage in name but not in actuality. However, many Florida drivers remain unaware of the gaps in their coverage until an accident abruptly brings the deficit to their attention. By that time, it could be too late.
One of the biggest misconceptions held by Florida drivers is that full-coverage insurance, or comprehensive insurance, extends to accidents involving uninsured drivers. This is not true, and attorneys familiar with Florida auto accidents and their aftermath commonly recommend purchasing additional insurance. Here’s why.
Number of Uninsured Drivers in Florida
It is estimated that nearly one in five drivers in the State of Florida is wheeling around the roads without insurance. The average for the United State is one in seven. This means that Florida has the highest percentage of uninsured drivers of any state in the U.S. While it is illegal to drive without insurance, and those who violate the law can face monetary penalties or suspension of their drivers’ licenses, the real effects of uninsured drivers are often felt by other motorists.
When You Collide with an Uninsured Driver
The reason other motorists end up paying the negative costs of an uninsured driver has a lot to do with the structure of Florida insurance coverage. There are actually two types of motor vehicle insurance in Florida. The first type, required by law, is called no-fault insurance. By law drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 of no-fault insurance.
However, most drivers are enticed by the upgrade from no-fault insurance to comprehensive or full-coverage insurance. This upgrade will cover not just the effects of an accident, but all the other damage that can occur to your car, such as break-ins, scratches, and other damages from vandalism. Many people assume this full-coverage insurance repays the expenses of colliding with an uninsured driver. It does not.
Many serious injuries or losses incurred in a serious car accident will not be covered by your no-fault or comprehensive insurance. These include injuries to passengers, lost wages, or other bodily injuries. Often the other driver’s bodily injury insurance would cover these costs. However, there is a one-in-five chance that a driver in Florida does not carry the necessary insurance, and then you will be left to pay the difference out-of-pocket.
Uninsured motorist insurance (or UM insurance) covers these additional costs. Anything—from future lost wages, passenger injuries, to pain and suffering, and other non-economic costs—will be included in a UM policy. Therefore, while many Florida drivers consider themselves financially secure and reject the offer of UM insurance, in the event of a collision, it could be a wise decision to have this extra coverage in place.
Contacting a Florida Auto Accident Lawyer
Before an auto accident occurs, you should discuss the options for insurance coverage with a knowledgeable party. This could be a biased insurance provider, but a Florida auto accident lawyer will also be knowledgeable on the topics. To learn more about Florida coverage, call the accident attorneys at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers. Our office can be reached 24 hours a day at (305) 441-0440 or toll free at 1-866-597-4529. You can also send us an email with the details of your case to [email protected].