What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Do I Need It?

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The most difficult news for me to convey to a client who has been injured in a car accident is that the driver/owner of the vehicle that caused the accident has no insurance to compensate them for their injuries. Unfortunately, this is an extremely common scenario, since Florida has one of the highest uninsured driver populations with 19% of its drivers without liability coverage.


It would be impossible to count the number of times I have heard clients utter the words: “But I have full coverage!”. Most of the time, people are under this impression based upon lack of communication with one’s insurance agent or false assumptions. Typically, when someone thinks they have “full coverage”, what they really have is the bare minimum required by Florida law: Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage. Although PIP is helpful, in that it pays for a driver’s losses, regardless of fault, and typically provides payment for a portion of medical expenses and lost wages, as well as some out-of-pocket expenses. However, there are many types of losses suffered in more serious collisions that are not covered by PIP.


Uninsured Motorist Coverage, also known as Underinsured Motorist Coverage, comes into play when you or your passengers are injured in a collision caused by a driver who has no bodily injury liability insurance coverage or insufficient bodily injury liability coverage. Uninsured Motorists Coverage covers medical expenses, lost wages, future medical expenses and future wage losses, non-economic damages such as disability, pain and suffering, and the loss of ability to enjoy life. Also, this coverage ‘travels’ with you, providing protection for these losses even if you are not in your own insured vehicle at the time of an accident.


Most of the time, when people realize they need Uninsured Motorist coverage, it is too late. Unfortunately, there is no time machine or other mechanism to put this insurance coverage into effect once an accident occurs. Typically, the cost to add such insurance coverage is negligible, especially in light of the potential expenses associated with being involved in a car accident.

If you are injured in a car accident or if you are having problems with your insurance claims, please contact Steinberg Law to schedule a free consultation today.