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Do You Really Need Uninsured Motorist Insurance?

Posted by copeland on April 29, 2015

Car crash

When purchasing auto insurance, many people are content to opt for the minimum that the law requires. Often, this means skipping uninsured motorist coverage. After all, most are pretty confident in their own driving abilities and are sure they won't be the one at fault if an accident occurs. That line of thinking is a bad idea, auto accident attorneys say.

Simply stated, uninsured motorist (UM) insurance protects you in the event of a hit-and-run accident or in an accident wherein an at-fault driver doesn't have auto insurance or is underinsured. Though it isn't required here in Florida, auto accident attorneys and financial experts urge you to purchase it anyway. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Non at-fault victims in accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers must use their own insurer as the default payer to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other costs. Often the costs involved far exceed the financial caps outlined in your auto insurance policy. Plus, these payouts can cause your insurance premiums to increase, based up on your driving history and the severity of the accident. 
  2. Millions of Americans lack sufficient health insurance. Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance policies often include coverage for major medical costs. If you have this coverage and are admitted to the hospital, your insurance company pays for treatment, even if you don't have major medical coverage. If not, those medical bills must be paid from your pocket. 
  3. Even after direct medical costs are covered, crash victims may still suffer physical and emotional stress including aches, temporary and permanent limitations on activity, potential shortening of life, depression or scarring. With full tort uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, a driver who is not at fault can claim full compensation, including payment for pain and suffering, from their insurers.

If you or your dependents are involved in a collision involving an at-fault uninsured or underinsured driver, get medical treatment immediately, even if there are no immediately evident injuries. Keep in mind that the most common problems are soft-tissue injuries, which can't be seen and which may not be felt for weeks or months after the fact. Also, contact an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates can be reached at 407-999-8995.