Protect Your Family With UM Coverage

Serving Families Throughout Jacksonville

Uninsured motorist ("UM") coverage is a type of car insurance that provides much needed protection in the event you or your family are injured due to the fault of an uninsured or underinsured driver. UM coverage is often misunderstood and in our view very underappreciated.

Florida does not mandate bodily injury liability insurance ("BI"). This is the type of coverage designed to protect others in the event the insured driver negligently injures someone. Interestingly our legislature requires car owners in Florida to have insurance to repair any property damage they cause. However, there is no requirement that Florida drivers have BI coverage to pay for any personal injuries caused by their negligence. As such many people wisely purchase UM coverage to protect themselves in the event they are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

UM coverage is really several types of coverage rolled into one policy. It pays for any damages caused by an uninsured driver. This would include coverage for medical bills, lost wages, or other economic losses in addition to non-economic losses such as pain, suffering and even loss of life. In a sense UM coverage is like having health, disability and life insurance all rolled into one policy.

Although BI coverage is not mandatory in Florida, if you purchase BI coverage your insurer must also issue an equal amount of UM coverage. UM coverage can be rejected by the insured, but a written rejection must be completed on a form approved by the Department of Insurance. So for instance, if you have $100,000 in BI coverage under a Florida car insurance policy you must also be issued $100,000 in UM coverage, or else make a knowing rejection of UM coverage.

UM coverage is relatively inexpensive to purchase. However, some misguided agents recommend that their clients reject UM coverage if they have health, disability or life insurance. This is often done to save the client a relatively small amount off their premium. In our view this is more often than not a mistake. According to the National Safety Counsel, car accidents are the ninth leading cause of death globally. As such, the risk of being involved in a car accident is fairly high. We typically recommend that our clients purchase as much BI and UM coverage as they can reasonably afford and we advise them to never reject UM coverage. We firmly believe this protection is vital for you and your family.