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UM Insurance Coverage: Do You Need It?


If you’re a responsible driver that follows the law, you probably have car insurance. And you probably assume that everybody else has insurance as well. So, you may drive our roads with the assumption that if anything happened to you, that you could get compensation from another negligent driver, through their insurance company.

Don’t Assume People Have Insurance

But think again: a lot of Florida drivers are driving without any insurance at all. And while the number of totally uninsured drivers may be low, Florida law doesn’t require that anybody carry liability insurance—the insurance that pays for injuries caused to another person.

That’s why it is so important to have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your insurance policy.

When Would You Need UM Coverage?

If you are in an accident, there are three scenarios when you may need to make a claim on your own UM insurance carrier.

One scenario is where another driver simply isn’t carrying insurance at all, or else, doesn’t have liability insurance on their existing car insurance policy.

The other scenario is where another driver does have liability insurance—but not enough. So, imagine you are seriously injured, with lost wages, medical bills and continuing disability in your life. But the negligent driver only had $10,000 in insurance coverage. That driver is insured—but is far underinsured to pay you what your injuries demand.

Your UM carrier will pay the difference between the value of your injuries, and the limits of the other side’s insurance (assuming you prove your damages, as you would normally have to do in any case).

The third scenario is, unfortunately, all too common on South Florida roads: Unknown, or phantom drivers, or drivers that cause accidents and then drive away. You can even make UM claims for debris on the road, which are left by unknown drivers, or cars that may run you off the road, but not contact your car.

Making a Claim on Your UM Carrier

In these scenarios, when you sue your own UM insurance carrier, your insurance company will “act” like it is the other negligent driver’s insurance. It will challenge liability, challenge that you are injured, and fight you all the way to court, if needed.

If the other side has some liability insurance, the UM will be the second defendant in the case, along with the primary negligent driver. Your UM will only pay, if and when it is shown that your damages exceed the other driver’s policy limits.

This can be unpleasant, as UM is “your insurance,” that you paid for. But for many accident victims, on South Florida roads, it is the only option. Unfortunately, many people, attempting to save money, reject the option to procure UM coverage, but that is usually a bad idea.

Contact the Tampa personal injury lawyers at Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian and schedule a consultation today to understand how insurance can help you get compensation for your injuries after a car accident.


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