FAQs about Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists Coverage
If You Are In An Accident With Someone Who Is Uninsured Or Underinsured, What Rights Do You Have To Compensation Or Even Recovering Anything?
It depends on what insurance you have. If the driver of the vehicle that is at fault does not have coverage, you need to look at your own policy. If you are not at fault, then look to see if you purchased UM or UIM insurance. At a minimum, your coverage should be at least the PIP coverage, the $10,000 to cover eighty percent of your lost wage and the medical expenses. If you have comp and collision, then you could get your car repaired under your own insurance. Normally, it is subject to a deductible. That is not the same as the PD, the property damage coverage.
Property damage coverage is there if you are at fault, it covers the other persons’ vehicle. It does not cover the damages to your vehicle. You have to have comp and collision which is separate in order for it to cover that. Then you can look to see if you have the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to cover the remainder of your medical bills for past and future as well as lost wages and pain and suffering.
If you are a passenger in a vehicle and it is the fault of another vehicle that the accident happened, you can also look to see if the driver of the vehicle that you are in has UM insurance because you could be covered under their policy as well. Also, if you live in a household with a family member that has UM insurance, you could be possibly covered under that policy as well.
What happens in the Worst Case Scenario When the Other Driver Is Responsible for the Accident, and they do not have Coverage and you do not Have UM Coverage?
You can report them to the Department of Motor Vehicles. They will investigate this, and if you end up having out of pocket expenses, you can ask the state to assess those damages against the other driver. Also, the DMV can initiate action against the uninsured motorist so that they either reimburse your out of pocket expenses or they have their driver’s license revoked if they do not. We recommend contacting victims’ assistance in this type of scenario as well.
The other thing is you can look into whether that person has any assets. You can do an asset check but usually, people that do not carry insurance usually do not have assets. You can go after them and you can get a judgment against them, but if they have no assets to collect from, then it costs you more to go through the process and get the judgment than you are ever going to recover from that judgment.
Does That Mean That You Are out Of Luck If the Other Person Does not Have Insurance or Substantial Insurance?
We recommend going through the DMV and victims’ assistance to try to get reimbursement. People involved in an accident are highly encouraged to report it to the DMV. This way, at least something will happen to that other driver’s license so that if this happens again, there can be some additional punishments assessed against them criminally.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Actually Cover?
Generally, it is used for past and future medical expenses as well lost wages and loss of consortium. Uninsured Motorist Coverage also covers Hit & Runs in Florida.
Would UM Cover both For Injury As Well As Property Damage?
The property damage would be covered under the Comp and Collision portion of your insurance, which is separate and apart from the UM. Again, that is something that you have to ask for in your policy, it is not a requirement under the state of Florida. Even though the property damage seems general, it is only property damage for the other vehicle, not your vehicle. It is also for property contained within that other vehicle. For example if a cell phone was lost or glasses were broken or something like that, the property damage would cover that for the vehicle that you hit. If you are hit, then your comp and collision would cover it if it is a hit and run and if they cannot find the driver.
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