Yes, it will give you piece of mind.
This is the best piece of advice I can give to anyone shopping for auto insurance: Make sure you include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in your policy.
As a personal injury attorney, I often come across clients who have been involved in car accidents and are unable to recover full compensation for their damages because the at-fault driver is either uninsured or underinsured. Recent research estimates that roughly 20%–25% of drivers in Florida do not have auto insurance, which makes these types of insurance coverage so crucial in our state.
Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage protects you if you are in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance coverage provides protection if the at-fault driver has insurance, but the policy limits are not enough to cover the full extent of your damages.
If you have UM coverage, your insurance company will step in to cover your damages up to the limits of your policy. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. UIM coverage works similarly, but in this case, your insurance company will only provide additional coverage after the at-fault driver’s policy limits have been exhausted. For example, if you have $100,000 in damages and the at-fault driver has insurance with a limit of $50,000, your UIM coverage would step in and cover the remaining $50,000.
The minimum liability insurance requirement in Florida is $10,000 for property damage and $10,000 for personal injury protection. However, this amount may not be enough to fully compensate you for your damages if you suffered severe injuries or have substantial damage to your vehicle. Most insurance companies offer higher limits, so you should consider purchasing a higher limit if you can afford it. UM and UIM coverage is optional in Florida, so you must opt in to have this coverage on your policy. If you don’t have this coverage, you may not be able to recover full compensation for your damages if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Having UM and UIM coverage can also make the claims process smoother and less stressful. Without this coverage, you may have to pay for your damages out of pocket or seek compensation through other means, such as a lawsuit. With UM and UIM coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company, and they will handle the process for you.
With so many drivers without insurance sharing the roads, it’s not worth it to push your luck. Update your policy to include UM and UIM coverage, and you’ll quickly gain peace of mind whenever you hit the road.