Anyone who has ever tried to read a Florida car insurance policy knows that they are lengthy, complex, and do not clearly outline what coverage is provided. Most Florida motorists end up purchasing insurance after answering a series of questions online about their vehicles, driving habits, and desired coverage amounts. However, few drivers truly know what their insurance policy covers.
After a Florida car accident, most injured motorists rely on insurance coverage to reimburse them for the expenses associated with the accident, including medical bills and lost wages. Florida car accident victims may have also endured significant pain and suffering as a result of the crash. Unfortunately, too often, the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance coverage to fully compensate an accident victim. In this situation, the accident victim may need to file a claim with their own insurance company under the underinsured/uninsured motorist (UIM) clause.
A UIM clause provides motorists with additional insurance coverage in the event that the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance coverage to fully compensate them for their injuries. This is especially important in Florida, where it is estimated that approximately 23 percent of drivers are uninsured. Due to the importance of UIM insurance, Florida lawmakers determined that an insurance company most provide UIM coverage in the same amount as bodily injury coverage unless the insured specifically waives UIM coverage. The burden rests with the insurance company to ensure that they obtain a valid waiver of coverage; otherwise, the insurance company may still be on the hook for providing UIM coverage.
Unfortunately, insurance policies are rarely clear, and motorists are often under the belief that they are covered when they may not be. A recent state appellate decision is a good example. In that case, a man who owned his own car and lived with his mother was involved in an accident with another driver. The at-fault driver lacked sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the accident victim, so the man filed a claim with his mother’s UIM policy, which provided coverage to all relatives who lived within the same household as the insured. However, his mother’s policy contained an exclusion for “resident relatives” who owned their own car. Thus, while the insurance company never obtained a waiver of UIM coverage, the man was not entitled to UIM coverage because he was not entitled to bodily injury coverage based on the fact he was a resident relative who owned his own car.
Have You Been Injured in a Florida Car Accident?
Insurance issues can be complicated, especially for those who are not familiar with the process. If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Florida car accident, the dedicated injury lawyers at Friedman Rodman & Frank can help. We represent clients who have been seriously injured in all types of Florida car accident cases, and routinely deal with difficult insurance companies on behalf of our clients. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney today, call 877-448-8585.