What If The At-Fault Party Has Very Little Insurance Coverage?
Bodily injury coverage is designed to protect the other parties in an accident that was caused by the insurance policyholder. In Florida, this type of insurance is not required. As a result, it is very common for injured parties to discover that the at-fault driver carried no bodily injury coverage. On top of that, if the vehicle was stolen, if the person did not have a license, or if they were not current on their premiums, then the insurance company could deny coverage. A lot of people in Florida have the bare minimum insurance, if they even have insurance, which is $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident. When injuries are involved, it does not take long for that amount of coverage to be used up.
If a plaintiff’s claim is worth more than what the at-fault party’s insurance policy can provide, then the plaintiff could go after the at-fault party personally. The problem is that if the at-fault party did not have sufficient coverage to begin with, it is unlikely that they will have assets from which the plaintiff could recover. This means that pursuing compensation from the at-fault individual personally could be a waste of time and money. Only rarely is it the case that someone who has a lot of money has very low insurance coverage limits.
In Florida, the insurance company is required to offer uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, which is for this exact situation. UM coverage will provide insurance under the injured party’s own insurance policy that accounts for the at-fault party’s lack of coverage. If the at-fault driver has no coverage, the injured party’s uninsured motorist coverage will be triggered automatically, and any recovery will come from the injured party’s own policy. This type of insurance will also be applied in situations where the at-fault party has an insufficient amount of insurance. For example, if a claim is worth $100,000 and the at-fault party only has a minimum amount of coverage of $10,000, then that will not be sufficient to pay out the total value of the claim. Under these circumstances, the injured party could make a claim under their own insurance policy for uninsured motorist benefits.
Since so many people in Florida either have no insurance or the bare minimum insurance, it is important for people to have uninsured motorist coverage on their own policy. There is an additional premium for it, but it is something that people absolutely need. I do not know how many times I’ve dealt with clients who were injured in an accident caused by an uninsured at-fault driver, and who did not have uninsured motorist coverage on their own policy. These clients end up with nowhere to turn, and a whole lot of medical bills. It is very important for people to protect themselves, as there is no way to predict when an accident might occur, and whether the at-fault driver will be sufficiently insured.
For more information on Little/Minimum Insurance Coverage In FL, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 490-8712 today.
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