With the cost of everything rising, many are looking for ways to trim their household budget, but dropping auto insurance shouldn’t be a cost-saving measure. Car insurance provides protection when needed in case of an accident and is required by law in most states.
To provide protection to you and your family, auto insurance should not only be kept current, but the policy should provide coverage against uninsured or underinsured motorists. Before you decided to change your insurance or let it lapse, here are a few ways auto insurance protects you when you need it most.
Many Drivers Are At Risk
In the state of Florida, before registering your car for a license plate, you must show proof of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) automobile insurance. Evidence of insurance is required whenever you are driving, and your insurance must be kept current.
However, even with these laws in place, recent data from the Insurance Research Council reported that 20 percent of drivers are uninsured in Florida, exposing them to liability when they are involved in an accident regardless of who is at fault. The legal repercussions of not having insurance are steep and can cost way more than the insurance monthly payments long term.
But uninsured drivers are not the only ones at risk. If you are involved in an accident and only carry the minimum insurance required by law, you may not have enough coverage for damages if the other party is uninsured.
Protection from Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists
If you are in an accident and the other driver does not carry insurance, you may not have any avenues to reclaim monetary damages to cover your injuries. To safeguard you and your family, be sure to include uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) on your policy.
This policy allows you to file a claim for anything that the at-fault driver would not be able to pay and protects you and your family in case of a car accident. This protects you when the driver at fault is either uninsured or has inadequate insurance to cover your damages.
It can also protect you when you are in another car or even as a cyclist or pedestrian. While uninsured and underinsured coverage may cost you a little extra each year, it may one day be invaluable to you or your family if you are in an accident.
Protection from Legal Ramifications
Driving without car insurance can cost you much more than your monthly premium and can severely impact your car insurance rates moving forward. Even though you cannot go to jail for driving without insurance in Florida, you can face other serious consequences.
You Could be Personally Sued
The other driver and passengers can sue you due to an accident, and without insurance, they can sue you personally. They can sue for reimbursement for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and more.
Even if the other driver has medical payments or PIP insurance coverage that could pay for some of their medical expenses, if you are found liable for their damages, you will likely still be responsible for paying their bills.
Suspension of Driver’s License & Registration
When there is an accident, one of the first things an officer asks for is your license and registration, and this information is included in the report that is shared with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
The FLHSMV is the repository for all crash records. Once they are notified that you do not have car insurance, your driver’s license and registration may be suspended for up to three years.
If your license is suspended, you will pay a reinstatement fee to get your license back. In Florida, you will pay a fee of $150 up to $500 depending on the details of your accident.
Not carrying the correct or any car insurance is leaving you liable for legal and personal life-changing scenarios. Avoid this by abiding by the law and protecting yourself with additional UM and UIM coverage.
Get Help After an Uninsured Motorist Accident
If you’ve been hurt in a serious car accident, you may have grounds for an insurance settlement, or you may need to take your claim to court. When this happens, the lawyers at Lopez & Humphries, PA are here to help.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and need help, contact us at 863-709-8500 or by filling out the online contact form below. We can start with a free consultation, so you know what to expect from your insurance policy and your attorney.