During the last month, we have had numerous calls from people who had been injured in crashes around the state. Here is the short version of two of those calls. The first involved a cyclist seriously hurt in a crash where the driver had no insurance. This cyclist had heard Jim speak about the importance of uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM) at an event earlier last year. When asked if he had purchased UM/UIM, the caller had to admit he had waived it. Without any insurance, there was nothing we could do to help him.
A second person had been hospitalized because of a careless driver. The caller had bodily injury liability limits of $500,000 on his policy (to protect someone if he was at fault). However, he had opted for reduced UM/UIM coverage of only $30,000 since he had "great health insurance." He did not realize the largest part of most injury claims is not the medical costs. Since the other driver had very limited insurance and he had reduced his UM/UIM, the caller would receive only a fraction of the value of his case.
Too many people are surprised to learn from their lawyer after a crash that 40% of drivers on the road in Florida have no insurance to pay a dime for the injuries they cause. A large percentage of those who do have insurance purchase no more than the minimal $10,000 in liability coverage.
Jim's constant message to all drivers is to protect themselves by purchasing UM/UIM coverage on their auto policy. This valuable insurance pays what the driver should have paid for injuring you; it protects you against the driver with little or no liability insurance. It protects
you as a driver, as a passenger, as a cyclist, or as a pedestrian wherever you go. It also protects the resident relatives of your household. This is the most important insurance on your policy!
If you are not sure whether you have it, call your agent or check your policy today. If you have it, think seriously about getting more. No client we have ever worked with who had UM/UIM ever regretted it. Plenty of clients who didn't have it regretted they didn't.
Jim's advice is not to leave home without at least $100,000 UM/UIM; $ 250,000 is better and $1 million is best. Ask your agent about stacking your UM/UIM; with two cars on your policy, it doubles your UM/UIM limits, and with three cars it triples the coverage.