Car insurance is designed to protect you, your passengers, your vehicle and ultimately your finances in case of an accident, theft or other types of mishap. In exchange for your premium, your policyholder or insurance company will cover the expenses outlined in your policy; this can include damage to your vehicle or the other person’s vehicle, property damage, and medical costs.
Forty-eight states, including the state of Florida, require car insurance. Though requirements vary by state, most at least require liability insurance. Liability insurance basically covers the injuries and damages to the other person or their vehicle when you are at fault. For example, if you rear-end another car and are determined to be at fault, you or your insurance company will be responsible for covering the injury or damage expenses of the person you hit.
While Florida law requires proof of Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability, according to the Orlando Sentinel, a recent study shows that 20% of Florida drivers are uninsured. There are penalties in place for drivers without insurance, such as fines and license suspension, however these penalties do not help victims of accidents caused by uninsured motorists.
So what can you do to protect yourself in case someone without insurance hits you?
Your first line of defense is to be proactive. Car collisions are called “accidents” for a reason; they are unexpected. Being hit by an uninsured motorist only adds to the stress of the situation. Outside of the physical and mental effects from the incident, there are the worries of unplanned expenses being added to your plate. However, this is exactly why insurance exists. You may not know if or when you will be in a car accident, but having insurance helps if and when you are. When building your car insurance policy, consider adding Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage. You can benefit from these coverages in cases where a driver without any insurance or with not enough liability insurance hit you. In some states, these may also include hit-and-run accidents.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverages can cover costs such as:
- Medical bills or funeral expenses
- Damage to your car
- Lost wages
- Compensation for pain and suffering
When shopping for car insurance, be sure to speak with your insurance representative to find out exactly what will be covered.
If you do not have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage and are hit by an uninsured driver, you may still be able to get compensation for your losses through legal aid. An experienced car accident attorney can help you get the money you deserve from a reckless driver. If a driver without insurance has hit you, contact the Cohen and Cohen Law for a free consultation.