What is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage financially protects drivers when the other at-fault motorist either completely lacks insurance or does not have enough. The coverage is optional in Florida but can and should be added to an individual’s existing car insurance policy if they can afford it.
There is a subtle difference between uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage protects a policyholder who is in a car accident with an at-fault driver without any liability insurance. The coverage can help pay for lost wages and medical expenses.
Underinsured motorist coverage comes into play when the limits on a negligent motorist’s liability policy are insufficient to cover the victim’s post-accident expenses such as medical costs and property damages.
To say that one should seriously consider purchasing UIM and UM coverage is an understatement. I have personally seen situations where people have attained $100,000+ in medical bills only to be told that the other driver either has no insurance or $10,000 in bodily injury coverage available and the injured person had previously rejected UIM/UM coverage under their own policy. But if you have UIM/UM coverage, you may have an avenue for relief. (Tip: Remember not to be fooled. Bodily injury coverage under your auto insurance policy covers only other injured drivers, not you. So make sure you have both PIP and UIM/UM, if you can afford it).