An insurance agent who says you do not need uninsured motorist insurance (UM) may not be giving you good advice. In Florida, every insurance policy with bodily injury liability coverage must carry an equal amount of UM unless you specifically refuse UM. However UM provides important protections.
As one in four Florida drivers does not have insurance, you have a one in four chance of being in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which is required under Florida’s no-fault car insurance law, reimburses medical expenses and lost wages up to $10,000, no matter who is at-fault in the accident. Today, that does not go very far. When PIP is exhausted, you bring a claim against the at fault driver. If they are uninsured and you do not have UM, you are out of luck.
Your broker may say UM is unnecessary because health insurance pays medical expenses. However, you may not have or may lose your health insurance and not all health insurance policies cover the medical care you may need and none of them compensate you for pain and suffering. UM does and it ensures that you receive the care you need.
Why would insurance carriers and insurance agents counsel you against UM? There are several reasons including an agent’s concern that if he gives you a quote with UM, that you might find the price too high and be told by another agent to skip UM and save money. Also, when you compare costs, the premium for UM is LESS than the same coverage for bodily injury. As a careful driver, you are more likely to be involved in a crash caused by an uninsured driver. Paying claims is expensive, so it is more to the insurer’s advantage to sell you bodily injury than UM.
Do not underestimate the value of peace of mind. Knowing that you and your loved ones are protected in accidents with uninsured motorists is worth more than the relatively low cost of UM.