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What Happens If I Reject Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Florida does not require drivers to purchase uninsured motorist (UM) coverage as part of their auto insurance policy. Despite it currently being mandatory for insurance companies to offer UM coverage, drivers in certain states, such as ours, can legally reject UM coverage.
If you are injured in an auto accident in Florida by an uninsured driver and choose to reject UM insurance, it is important to know how it will affect you. Here is why you should think twice before choosing to reject uninsured motorist coverage as part of your auto insurance policy.
The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage
The number one reason drivers in Florida reject UM coverage on their auto insurance policy is because they think it costs too much and they want to save money. But as an insured driver, have you ever looked to see how much money UM coverage really adds to your policy?
Although the price can vary for many reasons, one of which being the driver’s risk factors, it is on average only an extra $50-$75 annually. If you have ever been injured in an auto accident, you will know that this is a very inexpensive way to protect yourself financially. UM coverage is generally very affordable and should be regarded as one of the most important coverages under your auto insurance policy.
Florida’s High Rate of Uninsured Drivers
In Florida, statistics are not on your side. One in five drivers in Florida are on the road with little to no insurance at all. If you, or your passenger(s), are injured in an accident by an uninsured driver, your minimum No Fault Personal Injury Protection Coverage (PIP) will be exhausted just by a visit to the emergency room. How will you pay for the damage to your vehicle, ongoing and future medical treatment, hospital bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you do not have UM insurance?
This is one of the main reasons, we recommend drivers think again before rejecting UM coverage. If you do have UM coverage, you will be better covered financially for bodily injury and property damage.
How Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage Works
Uninsured motorist coverage is divided into two categories: bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. Both coverages are intended to replace the liability coverage that the at-fault driver should have purchased but did not.
Bodily injury coverage is important for drivers who do not have high PIP limits. Make sure to check your PIP limit, as most policies only cover a few thousand dollars if you are injured in a serious accident with an uninsured driver. In recent years, the average UM bodily injury claim was over $32,000. If you choose to reject UM coverage, you will be stuck paying the difference out of your own pocket.
Injured by an At-Fault Driver with No Insurance?
Bottom line… do not reject uninsured motorist coverage. Even if you feel you have great collision coverage and personal medical coverage, you will still be paying financially out of pocket and could be for a long time depending on how severe your or your passenger(s) injuries are.
If you have been injured by an uninsured motorist, you need to make sure you have the right representation. At Mickey Keenan P.A., we know auto accidents and how to fight for you and your rights after your car crash with a driver with no insurance. Call today for a free case review to see how we may be able to help you.