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Understanding Florida Uninsured Motorist Insurance Laws

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Living in the Sunshine State, it’s essential to understand the various auto insurance requirements and laws that can impact your financial security in case of an accident. One crucial aspect of auto insurance in Florida is uninsured motorist insurance. This can be a lifesaver if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. We’ll delve into the uninsured motorist insurance law in the state of Florida, and how it can protect you.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance: What Is It?

Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance is a component of auto insurance designed to protect you when you’re involved in an accident with a driver who lacks insurance or has insufficient coverage to pay for your medical expenses and property damage. In Florida, UM insurance is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended, given the significant number of uninsured drivers on the road.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) estimates that over 20% of Florida drivers do not carry insurance. This makes UM insurance an essential safeguard for responsible drivers who want to protect themselves from the financial repercussions of an accident caused by an uninsured motorist.

Types of Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida

Florida law provides two main types of UM coverage:

1. Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) Coverage: This coverage compensates you and your passengers for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering when the at-fault driver lacks insurance.

2. Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) Coverage: UMPD covers damage to your vehicle when the at-fault driver does not have insurance or if the driver is a hit-and-run offender. However, it’s important to note that UMPD is not available if you carry collision coverage.

It’s essential to understand that UM insurance covers you and your passengers, not the at-fault driver. This means your own insurance company will pay for your damages when the responsible party lacks coverage.

UM Coverage Limits

When purchasing UM coverage in Florida, you have the option to choose your coverage limits. The limits you select determine the maximum amount your insurance company will pay out in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Florida law requires insurers to offer UM coverage with a minimum limit of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident for UMBI. UMPD coverage is offered with a minimum limit of $10,000 per accident.

However, you can opt for higher limits, which is generally advisable, especially if you want to ensure that you and your passengers are adequately protected in case of a severe accident.

Stacking UM Coverage

Florida allows stacking of UM coverage, which means you can combine the UM coverage limits of multiple vehicles on your policy to increase your protection. For example, if you have two vehicles with $25,000 UMBI coverage each, you can stack them to have a total of $50,000 in UMBI coverage available for a single accident.

Uninsured Motorist insurance is a vital component of auto insurance in Florida, offering financial protection in the unfortunate event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. While it’s not mandatory in the state, it’s highly recommended due to the significant number of uninsured drivers on the road. Understanding the different types of UM coverage and coverage limits is crucial to ensure you and your passengers are adequately protected. So, consider including UM coverage in your auto insurance policy to drive with peace of mind on Florida’s roads.

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