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What is UM Auto Coverage and is it Necessary??

We pride ourself on being real and straight forward. So allow me to provide a different take than you may read elsewhere. If you feel like paying for your own medical bills in the event an uninsured motorist runs into your car or causes a car accident that you are involved in, then by all means reject UM coverage. 1 out of 4 cars are uninsured in the state of Florida. A certain percentage more are also under insured, meaning they would not be bale to cover the cost of you bills resulting from the motor vehicle accident. Our practice sees a substantial amount of cases where the driver is left uncompensated as a result of the other driver not having any insurance or just the minimum insurance requirement by the state. If you're like most of us, this does not sound appealing. Many auto policy holders wonder why they may need UM coverage when they have Bodily Injury coverage. This is common and comes from a lack of understanding as to what the respective coverages apply to. Its likely not your fault either, insurance carries seem to like making things more complicated than they have to be. My previous blogs have broken some of this down, but let me break down everything so the next time you purchase auto insurance you know what, when and how you are covered. If you do not know when UM applies, this should help you obtain a better understanding.

PIP: (Personal Injury Protection) This coverage applies to you (the policy holder) only. If you are involved in an accident, regardless of fault, your insurance carrier pays under this policy for you or your passengers physical injuries. This does not in any event pay for the other drivers damages in any way shape or form. In Florida, this policy covers a maximum of up to 10k worth of medical bills and or lost wages as a result of the accident. You cannot purchase more PIP Coverage than a 10k policy. However you can supplement with Med Payments for an additional 5k.

BI: (Bodily Injury protection) This coverage applies to the other driver and his/her passengers in the event ÿou are at fault [ and ] they sustain permanent injuries as defined by Florida statute, (read our other blog on how you are at fault in a no fault state for more info on that topic). This category does NOT cover injuries [you] sustain in the event your injuries, PIP will do that. Those injuries would be covered by the other drivers BI policy. That is if they have enough or even any BI coverage at all to cover your damages. You will be on the hook for those medical costs etc. (THIS IS WHERE UM / UN COMES INTO PLAY). You will not be compensated via your own BI coverage.

UN/UM: (Uninsured and Under insured motorists) This covers your injuries that go above the PIP limits (10k) in the event you are in an accident and the at fault driver has no BI coverage or not enough to cover the injuries they caused you. If they do not have a policy that covers your total expenses, unless they have sufficient assets personally, you will be on the hook for the remainder of your injuries and you won't be able to collect from the at fault driver.

UM is extremely important to carry if you own and operate a motor vehicle as the the state of Florida only requires a motorist to carry PIP. Remember, that an at fault driver who only has the state minimum (PIP) covers them, NOT YOU, no matter what the circumstances are. Your PIP will cover you. If the at fault driver only has PIP, they are uninsured for purposes of your car, and your injuries should you injuries cost more than the limits of PIP, which is often not enough. Many drivers who are considered insured to the extent the law requires, are actually uninsured in the event they cause you injuries that go beyond your PIP coverage. This is a basic break down of the coverage and there is much more information that applies. But for the purposes of this article, this should allow a policy holder to understand the terms of coverage that applies.

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