There are better ways to save money then cutting back on auto insurance.
When purchasing or renewing automobile insurance, many people are shocked at the initial quote from the insurance company and often look to cut down their bills to save some money. Many insurance agents will then tell you that you do not have to have uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage if you do not wish and that waiving that coverage will save you some money, reducing your premium. Usually we are only talking about a hundred or so dollars a year. Many people, not knowing the effects of not carrying this insurance go ahead and waive it, taking the savings on the premium.
The State of Florida does not require a driver to carry any liability bodily injury coverage. Click here for Florida’s uninsured motorist statute. Florida does require Personal Injury insurance protection coverage of up to $10,000 but that is a different type of coverage, for your own medical bills up to $10,000. Liability bodily injury coverage will compensate the other party if they are injured in an accident that was your fault, including pain and suffering. If you do not carry bodily injury coverage and you hurt someone in an accident that was your fault, they can sue you personally and go after your personal assets. But, often people who do not carry bodily injury coverage do not have much in the way of assets and thus a lawsuit against them personally is typically worthless. If you are involved in an accident with someone like this (no bodily injury coverage and no personal assets or money), and the accident was their fault, you may not have any recourse to recover money for your medical bills as well as pain and suffering. The best way you can recover in this situation is if you have uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage. If you have this coverage, your insurance company will further compensate you for your medical bills as well as pain an suffering, up to the policy limits. This is also true if the person who hit you was at fault and had bodily injury coverage but only a minimal amount (often $10,000) and this amount will not adequately cover you for your injuries, bills, and pain and suffering. This is where the under-insured coverage comes into play.
The South Florida Sun Sentinal recently wrote about this issue and they stated that 1 in 4 drivers in South Florida does not have insureance. With so many drivers in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County having either no bodily injury coverage or very little coverage, a driver is making a huge mistake in not having uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage. The minimal dollars saved in waiving that coverage is not worth the risks.
There is also a big myth out there regarding uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage. That myth is that you don not need this coverage because you have health insurance. This is simply not true. Your personal health insurance may pay for some of your medical treatment, but not all, but it will not pay you a penny for your pain and suffering
The bottom line is, in an area like South Florida, where there are many irresponsible and poor drivers who carry either zero or very little liability bodily injury coverage, saving a hundred dollars or so a year by waiving uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage is a foolish gamble and strongly discouraged by the Injury & Accident Attorneys at Berman & Tsombanakis LLC