The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Tampa, FL
Car accidents happen more frequently than you might imagine. Each year, there are over 6.4 million vehicle crashes across the U.S. More than 37,000 people are killed each year in car accidents. 2.7 million suffer substantial injuries. Another statistic to be aware of is that 27% of Florida drivers have no car accident insurance at all despite being required by law. In this article, Tampa, FL uninsured motorist attorneys at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC will discuss the importance of carrying uninsured motorist insurance policies.
Understanding Uninsured Motorist Claims in Tampa, FL
Drivers in Florida are only required to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and $10,000 related to property damage. When a negligent party causes a serious accident, you are entitled to file a claim both on your own PIP policy and the other driver’s insurance company. Chances are very good that the coverage will not compensate you for the total amount of damages you incur as a result of the accident.
Uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage covers you on top of your PIP coverage. UM coverage is paid to a driver when the driver who caused the accident doesn’t have auto insurance at all. UIM coverage is paid when your total expenses eclipse those of your PIP coverage plus the other driver’s coverage. In other words, when the other driver doesn’t carry enough bodily injury liability coverage and your own insurance policy isn’t paying you enough money to cover your damages, you can file a claim on your UIM policy to recover expenses.
UM and UIM coverage can be used to pay for the following:
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
Florida has one of the highest accident rates of any state in the country. The odds are 27% that the individual with whom you collide will not carry any insurance at all. For that reason, carrying UM/UIM insurance is extremely important to ensure that you get the money you need to rebuild your life after a serious car accident.
Stacking UM/UIM coverage in Tampa, FL
Those who purchase UM/UIM insurance policies can take advantage of something known as “stacking”. Stacking occurs when a policyholder stacks coverage based on the number of vehicles covered in the policy. As an example, those who opt for $100,000 in UM/UIM benefits and have three vehicles on the policy will have $300,000 in UM/UIM coverage. The amount of the coverage is multiplied by the number of vehicles listed in the policy.
Stacking is also allowed across multiple policies. For example, an individual who has two separate UM/UIM policies in their name that covers two separate vehicles, you should be able to stack coverage in that case too.
The major trade-off for stacking coverage is that you end up paying higher premiums. The benefit is that if you don’t stack coverage, you could incur financial losses based on post-accident expenses that exceed the coverage limit of your policy.
Talk to a Tampa, FL Uninsured Motorist Coverage Attorney Today
Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC represents the interests of those filing uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage claims on their own policy. Insurance companies don’t just hand money over every time you ask. And you may be entitled to more than they offer. Call our office today to learn more about how we can help.