Has anyone told you not to get uninsured motorist coverage on an automobile insurance policy? It is advice that I will convince you is dead wrong by the end of this article. Florida requires that drivers maintain automobile insurance in the amount of $10,000.00 in PIP coverage and $10,000.00 in property damage coverage. That is it. If you are thinking what if someone gets hurt in the accident, the answer is there is no insurance to pay for their injuries. Now imagine that you are driving down 4th Street in St. Pete and as you cross 38th Avenue, a man with the insurance coverage I just described runs the red light and t-bones your car on the driver’s side door. You suffer cuts, bruises, a broken collar bone and a concussion. You are transported to the hospital where you are held overnight for treatment and observation. What is the likely outcome?
First, it is very likely that your bills from the hospital, alone, will exceed $25,000.00. The PIP coverage on your policy will pay 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages up to a maximum amount of $10,000.00. The at-fault driver’s insurance will not pay for any of your medical bills. Remember he did not purchase bodily injury coverage on his policy. Likewise, it will not pay for pain and suffering or lost wages. Using my example, PIP will pay out $10,000.00, but you will be left holding the bag for the remaining money owed for your medical treatment. Even if you have good health insurance, this bill can quickly run into the thousands of dollars. Without good health insurance, it can force hardworking people into bankruptcy through no fault of their own. This is the result if you rejected the uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage on your policy.
If you purchased the uninsured motorist coverage, then your medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages will be paid up the amount of the policy. Your uninsured motorist policy or UM policy will also kick in if the at-fault driver has insurance but is underinsured. At that point, your UM policy will pay the difference between the amount paid by the at-fault driver and your damages, up to the policy limits.
The big decision is how much automobile coverage should I purchase? I recommend maintaining coverage in an amount at least equal to your assets. Dave Ramsey recommends a policy of at least $500,000.00, regardless of your assets. If you maintain that level of insurance for your bodily injury policy that will care for the injuries suffered by others, you should maintain the same for yourself and purchase UM coverage in the same amount. Contrary to popular opinion, adding uninsured motorist coverage to your policy is not an extravagance and will not break the bank.
Have you been injured in a car or motorcycle accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. Your consultation is free and we will drive to meet you anywhere convenient for you.
If you have been involved in motorcycle or car accident, you should immediately call Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707