Automobile Insurance Protection And Uninsured Drivers
Although all drivers on the road are supposed to carry automobile insurance under Florida law, the reality is that not every driver or vehicle owner on the road follows the law in this regard. For this reason, Florida law requires that insurance providers offer Uninsured Motorist insurance coverage along with policies for automobile insurance. Failure to offer such a policy leads to a legal presumption that the policy was offered and the insured driver elected to have it.
Uninsured motorist insurance generally protects a driver who gets in an automobile accident with a driver who carries no bodily injury liability insurance, or who is underinsured. This allows the insured driver to recover for any medical treatment steaming from the injuries sustained from the accident that are not covered under her health insurance. The driver may also be compensated for lost wages and pain and suffering as a result of the accident. An insured driver can decide to opt out of the uninsured motorist insurance coverage with an insurance company, as long as the insured does so in writing.
Most uninsured motorist insurance policies can be “stacked” to raise the limit of the amount an insured can claim in the event of an accident. For example, if a driver has uninsured motor vehicle insurance on two vehicles on their policy and is subsequently involved in an automobile accident while driving one of the vehicles, the uninsured motorist insurance limits on both vehicles would be available to compensate the driver. If the insured driver’s policy does not allow stacking, then the driver would be limited to the uninsured motorist insurance policy limit on the vehicle he was driving.
Florida law only requires insurance companies to offer uninsured motorist insurance; but purchasing it is not a requirement, and neither is stacking. An insured driver can choose to have stacking as part of their insurance policy, or can expressly opt out of this provision in their insurance policy as long as he does so in writing. The insurance company does have to inform the insured driver that choosing a non-stacking policy is different from choosing a stacking one in terms of coverage and premiums. Once a driver signs a form opting out of uninsured motorist insurance or the stacking coverage, the law presumes that the person is doing so knowingly. Therefore, an insured driver claiming that they signed the form without reading it would have a hard time overcoming this presumption.
Although adding uninsured motorist insurance may raise monthly premiums, it is generally recommended as it can save the driver a lot more money in the event of an accident. A driver who is offered the insurance and the chance to stack it should at the very least consider the alternatives before opting out of the coverage.
Contact a Florida Automobile Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you should consult an experienced automobile accident attorney. Before you settle with an insurance company, you should learn what options you may have to recover for your injuries. Contact the experienced automobile accident attorneys at Roman & Roman, P.A. for a consultation today.