Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is a type of car insurance that provides coverage to you and your passengers if you are involved in an accident with another driver who does not have enough insurance to cover the costs of the damages and injuries incurred.
If the other driver has liability insurance but the limits are not enough to cover the costs of the accident, UIM can step in and provide additional coverage to fill the gap. For example, if the other driver has liability coverage of $25,000, and the damages and medical expenses exceed this amount, UIM can provide additional coverage up to the limits of your policy.
UIM coverage is optional in states like Florida, but it is required in others. It is important to understand your state's requirements and to carefully consider the coverage limits you need to protect yourself and your family in case of an accident.
Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage Required In Florida?
No, underinsured motorist coverage is not required by law in Florida. In Florida, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance and personal injury protection, but UIM is an optional coverage that drivers can choose to purchase if they wish.
However, it's important to note that UIM coverage can provide valuable protection in the event of an accident with an underinsured driver, and it may be a good idea to consider purchasing this coverage to ensure that you adequately protect yourself and your assets.
What If I Have Underinsured Motorist Coverage, But The Insurance Company Won't Pay My Medical Bills?
If you have underinsured motorist coverage and you've been in an accident with an underinsured driver who was at fault for the accident, and your insurance company is nevertheless refusing to pay your claim, consider taking the following steps:
- Seek legal assistance: Before you try to resolve any issue with your insurance company, you should consider seeking legal assistance. An attorney experienced in insurance disputes can help you understand your rights and options, as well as can represent you in negotiations with your insurance company.
- Review your policy: Always review your policy after an accident to review your coverages and to make sure that you have UIM coverage. Also, check to see if your policy limits are adequate to cover the damages and injuries incurred in the accident.
- Gather evidence: Collect all relevant evidence from the accident, including police reports, witness statements, and medical records. This evidence can help support your claim and demonstrate that you are entitled to UIM benefits.
- Negotiate with your insurance company: If you choose to proceed without an attorney, you can still try to negotiate with the insurance company if they are refusing to pay your UIM claim. Although they probably won’t take you seriously or offer you the money your case is worth until you get a lawyer, you can still provide them with the evidence you've collected and explain why you believe your claim should be covered under your policy. If they offer anything less than policy limits, you may be dealing with an uphill battle.
It's important to remember that insurance companies are in business to make a profit. They are motivated to minimize or deny claims. Thus, you should consider seeking legal assistance from folks who fight the insurance companies day in and day out to help protect your rights and make sure you receive the money you are entitled to under your UIM policy.
If I Was At Fault for a Florida Auto Accident, Can I Still Get Money from My Underinsured Motorist Policy?
Underinsured motorist coverage is there to provide coverage when the at-fault driver in an accident does not have enough insurance to cover the damages. UIM coverage is not designed to provide coverage for an at-fault driver. Thus, if you are at fault for the accident, your insurance company will not be inclined to pay you out of your UIM policy. That’s not what UIM is for.
It's important to note that insurance policies and laws vary by state and it's best to check with your insurance provider or a licensed insurance professional for specific information regarding your coverage and state laws.
How Does Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work In Florida?
Here's how UIM works in Florida:
- You purchase UIM coverage: When you purchase car insurance, you have the option to add UIM coverage to your policy. This coverage is designed to protect you in the event of an accident with an underinsured driver.
- You are involved in an accident with an underinsured driver who was at fault for the accident: If you are involved in an accident with another driver who is at fault and does not have enough insurance to cover the damages and injuries incurred, UIM can step in and provide additional coverage to fill the gap between your damages and the at fault driver’s bodily injury coverage.
- Your insurance company covers the difference: If the other driver's liability insurance limits are not enough to cover the costs of the accident, UIM can provide additional coverage up to the limits of your policy. This coverage can help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with the accident.
It's important to understand that UIM coverage is not a substitute for liability or bodily injury insurance. In Florida, all drivers are still required to carry property damage liability insurance and personal injury protection, and UIM is an additional layer of protection that drivers can choose to purchase if they wish.
Which Are The Best Insurance Companies To Purchase Underinsured Motorist Coverage From In Florida?
The best insurance company to purchase UIM from in Florida can vary depending on your individual needs and circumstances. Here are a few factors to consider when selecting an insurance company:
- Financial stability: Make sure that the insurance company you choose is financially stable and has a good reputation for paying claims. You can check an insurance company's financial stability by looking at ratings from organizations like A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's.
- Customer service: Consider the insurance company's reputation for customer service. Look for reviews from other customers to see how the company handles claims and customer service issues.
- Price: Of course, the price of the coverage is an important factor to consider, but it should not be the only factor. Often times, you get what you pay for when it comes to auto insurance. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when looking at different insurance quotes, and consider the value of the coverage you are getting for the price.
- Availability in your state: Make sure the insurance company you choose is licensed to do business in Florida and that they offer UIM coverage in the state.
Some of the largest and most well-known insurance companies that offer UIM coverage in Florida include State Farm, Allstate, Geico, and Progressive.
The best move is to get quotes from multiple insurance companies and compare the coverage, price, and customer service of each company before you make a decision. Additionally, you may want to speak with an insurance agent who can help you understand the coverage options available to you and help you select the best insurance company for your specific needs.
Contact An Experienced Orlando, Florida Car Accident Lawyer For Your FREE Legal Consultation
If you have been injured in a car accident in Florida as a result of a careless or negligent driver, you should speak with an experienced Florida car accident attorney as soon as possible because you may be entitled to compensation. You can contact us online or you can call our Orlando, Florida law office at (321) 352-7588 to schedule your consultation.
If you need a South Carolina car accident lawyer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (843) 638-6590. We have at least one lawyer licensed in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.