While Florida might be the Sunshine State and the number one tourist destination in the United States, it is also the state with the highest rate of uninsured drivers. Did you know one in five drivers in Florida are driving around uninsured?
As a driver in Florida, it is important to protect yourself, physically and financially, from uninsured drivers, but what can you do? The car accident attorneys at Mickey Keenan, P.A. explain why people drive uninsured and the importance of making sure you are covered with the right auto insurance coverage.
The rate of uninsured drivers in Florida is alarming. Taking #1 in the spotlight (but not in a good way), Florida has the highest rate of uninsured drivers of all the other states. Is there a reason for this? And how does this affect other drivers?
One of the reasons Florida drivers may drive without insurance is that insurance in Florida is 36% higher than the national average, with an annual average of almost $2,000. Additionally, while there are more uninsured drivers on the road, there are a lot more who are underinsured. Florida drivers often carry very little coverage when they do carry auto insurance, and this is due to Florida’s low minimum auto insurance requirement. Drivers in Florida only need to maintain $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 in Property Damage (PD). Florida law does not require Bodily Injury Coverage (BI).
PIP coverage benefits only the insured—not the victim— it does not depend on fault – this is “No-Fault”. So, if you are a victim and someone else is at-fault for the accident, your own PIP coverage will pay a portion of your medical bills; but it is important to know that the at-fault policy will not cover your injuries if the at-fault driver carries only the minimum insurance coverage.
Driving uninsured is a crime and uninsured drivers can face serious penalties such as fines and a suspension of their license, but oftentimes that is not enough to stop them from driving without insurance. Florida does require drivers to purchase insurance before vehicle registration is granted, but oftentimes many drivers will let their insurance policy expire, once registration is granted, and not renew their policy. And, Florida’s minimum insurance requirements do not provide the necessary coverage.
Unfortunately, victims of car accidents caused by uninsured drivers have almost no protection or help from these drivers. Most victims are left paying for their medical bills and property damage to their car.
With little rights and protection for the car accident victim, all drivers need to be proactive—especially in the state of Florida. Victims can be left paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for their damages without the right protection.
All drivers should purchase uninsured motorist insurance coverage. This additional, add-on coverage covers for damages and injuries caused by the uninsured driver, that you otherwise would be stuck paying for on your own.
While this coverage may cost a little bit extra, it protects you and your family if you are ever involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Paying for medical bills and property damages out-of-pocket can bankrupt some.
Driving in Florida is risky with over 20% of drivers uninsured and ever more underinsured. If you happen to be a victim of a car accident with a driver that does not have insurance or enough insurance, it is paramount that you contact the attorneys at Mickey Keenan, P.A.
Our attorneys are trained in personal injury and car accidents and can handle your claim. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (813) 871-1300.