Uninsured motorist coverage in Florida will provide protection if you are involved in a car accident caused by a driver who does not have enough bodily injury liability insurance to pay the full value of your claim. Part of your bodily injury claim may include medical expenses not paid by your personal injury protection (PIP.) Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and the occupants of your vehicle by paying for required medical treatment.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida and ERISA Laws
If your insurance agent advised you to skip uninsured motorist coverage in Florida or to buy low limits because you have good employer sponsored health insurance, you may want to think twice. Many employer-sponsored health insurance plans which pay your required medical expenses resulting from a car accident would have the right to be fully reimbursed if you won a Florida personal injury claim. This could leave you empty-handed.
The Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA laws) has made it easier for many employer-sponsored health insurers to get fully reimbursed from your settlement. ERISA laws override Florida laws which would prevent such full reimbursement.
ERISA laws give the health insurer the right to include statements pertaining to full and complete reimbursement in policy documents. In addition, most all health insurance plans, even those not covered by ERISA laws, also have reimbursement rights including Medicare and Medicaid.
The bottom line is that you will have to repay medical expenses paid by your health insurer if you win a settlement. Your only protection for full recovery is purchasing adequate uninsured motorist insurance coverage so that reimbursement of these liens doesn’t eat up all your settlement.