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Declining Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage? – Bad Idea
Looking for ways to reduce monthly expenses is commonplace. We all do it. One of the areas that some will choose to reduce costs is their car insurance coverage. Specifically, Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage has become a popular option to decline or remove from car insurance policies to save money. Declining or removing UM coverage will certainly save money in the short term. In the long run, the monthly savings can be a small fraction of what declining UM coverage can actually cost.
According to multiple studies, Florida ranks 2nd in the U.S. for uninsured drivers. In Florida, 24% or 1 in 4 of the drivers on our roadways are uninsured. To put that in real numbers, approximately 4.77 million motorists in Florida either have no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover the damages they may cause in a car accident.
A serious car accident can leave the victim(s) with life altering injuries. In some cases these victims are receiving medical treatment for months or even years. Compounding their problems is the fact that they may have diminished employment capacity or are unable to work at all. Despite having little or no income, medical bills are mounting, mortgage/rent bills don’t stop, car payments are still due, etc… It’s not uncommon for seriously injured victims of car accidents to lose their job, their homes and their way of life.
The normal course of action following a serious Florida car accident is for the victim to exhaust their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. After exhausting PIP benefits, they begin thinking about filing a claim against the at-fault party’s auto insurance policy or suing the at-fault party directly. If the at-fault party is uninsured, there’s no insurance company to file a claim with. Technically, the at-fault party can be sued directly. However, if they have no assets that can be used to pay for damages, a favorable verdict does little to provide relief for the victim.
UM coverage in Florida will pay for medical expenses, lost wages as well as pain and suffering. For seriously injured car accident victims, UM coverage can mean the difference between financial recovery and financial ruin. If you have declined or are thinking about removing UM coverage from your policy, you should thing long and hard before doing so.
If you’re seriously injured in a car accident, through no fault of your own, there’s a 1 in 4 chance that the person who caused the accident has no auto insurance coverage. Unless you have unlimited financial resources available to you, we recommend that you purchase as much UM coverage as you can reasonably afford.