Recently, Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that insurance companies must comply with Florida Statutes section 627.727, which covers uninsured motorist (UM) coverage minimums. The ruling comes after an insurance company appealed a lower court’s ruling in favor of the plaintiff in a dispute over coverage after a Florida motorcycle accident.
Before his death, a man purchased home insurance coverage that included a collector vehicle. The policy included a UM provision that limited benefits to accidents involving the collector vehicle. After the man’s death, his family tried to recover for damages through the UM provision in his home insurance policy. The defendant insurance company denied coverage, citing the UM limitation. The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the Florida insurance company, arguing that Florida Statutes section 627.727 prohibits the insurance company from placing restrictions on UM coverage. On appeal, the defendant argued that section 627.727 does not apply to specialty insurance policies, such as the collector vehicle at issue.
Florida Statutes section 627.727 governs “motor vehicle insurance, uninsured and underinsured vehicle coverage, and insolvent insurer protection.” Typically, the statute provides coverage to the policyholder, their spouse, and resident relatives. This coverage applies when a person suffers bodily injury by a negligent motorist, whether they are driving or a passenger in their vehicle, driving or riding in someone else’s car, or suffer injuries as a pedestrian. There are several exceptions to this statute, but there are no exclusions related to a collector or antique vehicle.
Moreover, individuals who purchase non-stacking UM coverage only receive protection if they are in an accident while in the vehicle they own and insure. On the other hand, policyholders who buy stacked UM insurance, will receive protection regardless of whether they are a pedestrian, passenger, or driver. However, insurance companies that want to offer non-stacking coverage must specifically inform the insured of the limitation and execute an approved form.
Here, the insurance company’s argument that the statute does not apply to specialty insurance policies fails because there is no limiting language in the collector vehicle policy, and the plaintiff selected stacking UM coverage. The insurance company argues that its restrictive language effectively notified the insured that they were selecting non-stacking coverage. However, the court ultimately found that the insurance company did not comply with Florida’s strict statutory requirements, and therefore they must provide coverage.
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If you or someone you know has suffered injuries in a Florida car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank have a deep history of successfully representing Florida accident victims. Florida accidents often involve various parties and adversarial insurance companies. Dealing with insurance companies can be complicated, lengthy, and unduly frustrating. This delay can have long-term financial and physical consequences on a victim and their families. The attorneys at our law firm possess the skills and experience to handle these complex situations. We have recovered substantial amounts of compensation during settlement and litigation on behalf of Miami car accident victims. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with a dedicated Florida injury attorney at our office.