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What is UM coverage?

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UM coverage means uninsured or underinsured bodily injury motorist coverage and it is important for victims of automobile accidents who are injured as a result of a negligent and careless driver to have purchased UM coverage to protect themselves and their families. For instance, if you were rearended by another motor vehicle while stopped at a red light and sustained bodily injuries, you could make a claim against the at fault driver's BI ( Bodily Injury ) automobile insurance coverage for your bodily injury losses and damages which may include out of pocket medical expenses, wage loss and pain and suffering damages up to the BI coverage limits.

Since PIP ( Personal Injury Protection ) which covers 80% of accident related medical expenses and 60% of gross wage loss for time missed from work due to accident related injuries and PD ( Property Damage ) which covers any damage to a motor vehicle caused by an at fault driver such as repair costs, replacement value for a totaled vehicle, loss of use of the damaged vehicle and towing and storage costs if applicable are the only mandatory coverages under Florida law, what would happen if the at fault driver did not carry BI coverage on their motor vehicle?

Because BI coverage is not generally mandated under Florida law, it is estimated that as many as 25-30% of motor vehicles operated on Florida roads are uninsured for BI coverage. If you are injured by an at fault uninsured driver who did not carry BI coverage and tried to make a claim under their automobile policy their insurance company would deny the claim as there would be no BI coverage under their policy. You could try to recover your bodily injury losses and damages against the at fault driver personally, but this would be difficult as most uninsured drivers do not have the financial resources to pay your bodily injury claim out of their own pocket. If you did not carry any UM coverage either then you could be responsible for thousands of dollars in medical expenses and wage losses not covered by any insurance coverage which could cause you and your family financial difficulties or even bankruptcy. However, in this instance, if you had purchased UM coverage you then could make a claim for your out of pocket medical expenses, wage loss and pain and suffering damages against your own automobile insurance policy up to your UM coverage limits. In the above scenario, if the at fault driver only carried 10,000 in BI coverage but you had sustained bodily injury losses and damages exceeding the amount of BI coverage then you could also make a claim under your UM policy as secondary coverage for any additional bodily injury losses and damages beyond the BI coverage limits of the at fault driver.

As you can see it is very important that you purchase UM coverage on your automobile insurance policy to protect you and your family if you are injured by an at fault driver who is not covered for BI coverage or only carries a minimal amount of BI coverage. The general rule is the more UM coverage you are able to purchase the better protection you will have for you and your family.

If you have been injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, please call The Nuebel Law Firm today at 407-703-5999 so that we may help and assist you.

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