Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Pensacola, Florida

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Were you in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver in Pensacola, Florida? Are you unsure about your financial options? In addition to your own no-fault insurance, you could have additional coverage through your insurance policy. A car accident lawyer from Cardoso Law, PLLC, can provide the guidance you need and help you claim the compensation you deserve.

Don’t struggle with insurance claims alone. Contact Cardoso Law, PLLC, today to learn how we can help you in a free initial consultation session. 

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in Florida is what protects you if you get hurt in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn’t have auto insurance. This type of insurance can cover your medical bills and lost wages if the other driver can’t pay because they lack insurance. UM coverage also comes into play in hit-and-run accidents, where the driver who causes the accident leaves the scene and you cannot identify them to seek compensation from their insurance.

If you have UM insurance, your insurance company steps in to cover the costs that the at-fault driver legally should have paid for. It acts as a safety net, providing the support you need for your recovery, even when the other party can’t or won’t accept financial responsibility. This coverage is useful because it allows you to manage the risks and financial impacts of accidents with uninsured or unidentified drivers.

What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage in Florida is what kicks in if you get into an accident with a driver who has some insurance but not enough to cover all the harm and losses you suffer. The purpose of UIM coverage is to fill the gap between what the other driver’s insurance will pay and what you actually need to recover financially from the crash.

For instance, suppose another driver hits you. Your hospital bills end up totaling $50,000, but the other driver’s insurance only covers up to $30,000. In this scenario, your UIM coverage could cover the remaining $20,000. This way, you don’t have to pay your remaining expenses out of pocket. 

Florida underinsured motorist coverage allows you to recover the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and more, even when the other driver’s policy falls short. Like UM coverage, it provides a critical financial safety net when at-fault drivers cannot pay what they owe.

Do I Need Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Florida?

Florida is a no-fault state, which means each driver typically files a claim with their own insurance after a car accident, regardless of who caused the crash. However, there are still situations where you could be entitled to compensation from other drivers after a Florida car crash.

Suppose your injuries are severe, resulting in significant medical costs or permanent impairment. In that case, Florida law allows you to “step outside” the no-fault system and demand additional compensation from the at-fault driver. This is where UM and UIM coverage could come in handy despite Florida’s no-fault system. 

Should the at-fault driver be uninsured or lack sufficient coverage, or if you are the victim of a hit-and-run, your UM or UIM insurance steps in to act as or augment the other driver’s insurance. Essentially, your UM or UIM insurance can provide the compensation you would have received from the other driver if they had purchased sufficient liability coverage.

Florida does not require drivers to have UM or UIM coverage. It is optional, so drivers can decide whether to purchase it for additional protection. However, many policies include it unless the policyholder rejects UM/UIM coverage in writing. Because an average of 6.5 percent of Florida motorists are uninsured, it’s safe to say that purchasing UM and UIM coverage is a smart idea considering the likelihood that you may need to file an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim. 

Pros and Cons of Purchasing Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida

Purchasing Florida uninsured motorist coverage has both advantages and disadvantages.

On the plus side, UM coverage pays for your expenses if an uninsured driver injures you or if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident. Additionally, knowing that you have UM coverage can give you peace of mind after an accident, as you’re protected regardless of the other driver’s insurance status.

However, there’s a financial disadvantage in that UM coverage adds to your overall insurance bill. You must pay extra premiums, which can add up over time.

Deciding whether UM coverage is worth it depends on your specific circumstances and risk tolerance. That said, the benefits tend to outweigh the additional expense.

What Should I Do If an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver Hits Me?

Here are some straightforward steps you can take to lay the groundwork for your injury claim after a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver:

  • Get a thorough medical evaluation even if you initially feel fine.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice and attend all follow-up appointments.
  • Keep thorough records of any medical treatments related to the accident.
  • Document any wages or income you lose due to the accident.
  • File a police report and request a copy for your records.
  • Notify your insurance company about the accident.
  • Contact a trusted car accident attorney as soon as possible.
  • Save receipts and bills related to car repairs and medical expenses.
  • Avoid discussing the accident details on social media platforms.
  • Stay organized by keeping all accident-related documents in one file.
  • Contact a Pensacola auto accident attorney to help with your claim.

Types of Compensation with Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance

There are two main types of UM and UIM coverage: 

  • UM/UIM Bodily Injury Coverage – This pays for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you get hurt in an accident caused by a driver with no or insufficient insurance. This part of your policy protects you and any passengers in your car. 
  • UM/UIM Property Damage Coverage – This pays for repairs to your vehicle or a vehicle replacement if it sustains damage in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Contact Our Pensacola Car Accident Lawyer for Help

Ready to take action after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver in Pensacola? Contact Cardoso Law, PLLC, today for your free initial consultation. We can help you file a UM or UIM claim and demand the compensation you are owed.