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Florida Has High Rate Of Uninsured, Underinsured Motorists
By Mike Heuer

Nearly 25 percent of motorists in Florida illegally drive with no liability insurance in place while many others drive legally but without enough coverage to pay the costs of losses incurred by their driving activities. That is part of the reason the state has no-fault insurance, also called personal injury protection, in place and requires it of all motorists.

Yet, one of the best ways for Florida drivers to protect themselves and their passengers is to carry uninsured and underinsured motorists insurance protection.
There are 20 other states plus the District of Columbia that require vehicle owners to purchase uninsured, underinsured motorists coverage to protect against the possibility of suffering injuries or property damage caused by another driver who might not be insured, but Florida is not among them.

Low Liability Minimums In Florida

While liability insurance is mandated in every state, in Florida that amount is $10,000 for personal injury protection and $10,000 for property damages. That means even if motorists have state minimums in place and are driving legally, there still is a great potential for costs exceeding coverage limits if responsible for accidents causing injuries or damages.

Medical costs easily can exceed state minimum liability insurance coverage limits, so, too, can the cost of property damage to others. When as little as $10,000 is carried on a liability insurance plan for property damage to others, that amount can be surpassed by the cost of repairs or replacing damaged vehicles of from losing control and running into a home, business or other property, causing a great deal of damage and possibly displacing the homeowners or other property owners for a period of time.

Uninsured Motorists Are More Plentiful

The number of uninsured Florida drivers has gone up in recent years with nearly a quarter of all drivers having no insurance coverage at all. That means a lot of people are at risk if they suffer a loss while involved in an accident with a driver who illegally is operating a vehicle with no insurance coverage, which is why nearly half of all states require drivers to also have coverage to protect against uninsured motorists who are driving illegally.

Hit And Run Drivers Are Uninsured By Default

If a hit-and-run driver causes and accident and cannot be found, there is no insurance policy to be used in such cases, so uninsured motorist coverage would apply. For example, if a car is struck in a parking lot and the offender took off without reporting it and no longer could be located, for insurance purposes, the unidentified driver would be declared to be uninsured. And if an uninsured driver should strike a pedestrian or perhaps lose control and run into a home or other type of property, resulting in a great deal of damage, the uninsured motorist coverage would provide financial relief to the victims.

Mike Heuer is a former insurance producer in Nevada with expertise in Property & Casualty and Life and Health insurance. He also is a former newspaper reporter with 20 years’ experience in print media.

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