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Automobile accidents occur in our community daily. Often these accidents go beyond a mere “fender bender” and an injury occurs. For the drivers and/or passengers who are injured, the initial thought is that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for their injury. Unfortunately, in Florida that is not the case. It is important that drivers have sufficient coverage to ensure that they are protected if injured in an automobile accident.
In Florida we follow the “No-Fault” law. According to Florida No-Fault, Florida residents are required to maintain two types of automobile coverage including, $10,000.00 in property damage coverage and $10,000.00 in personal injury protection benefits, also known as “PIP” to help the injured party with their medical expenses. Pursuant to Florida Statute 627.731, PIP benefits are required to provide medical insurance benefits without regard to fault. While we require that drivers carry property damage coverage to assist in repairing the other driver’s vehicle, we do not require drivers have coverage for any injuries caused.
Since the “No-Fault” law does not mandate coverage for bodily injuries, it is very important that drivers in the Sunshine state carry coverage on their personal policies to protect themselves in they are injured in an accident. This very valuable coverage is called “Uninsured and/or Underinsured Motorist” coverage. It is abbreviated as “UM.” All drivers can opt to carry this coverage on their auto insurance policies. This coverage will be triggered if one of the following scenarios transpires: 1) the driver who caused the accident did not carry coverage to take care of your injuries; or 2) the driver who caused the accident did not carry enough coverage to take care of your injuries. In a way, the responsibility is placed on the individual driver to ensure that we are covered if we are injured in an accident. Regrettably, these injures can be serious, cause work loss or even death. For all of these reasons it is imperative that you check your insurance policies and make sure that you are protected.