By: Morgan Gaynor
Florida is statistically a terrible place to be on the receiving end of
a car accident. Florida is one of the few states which does not require
drivers to protect others from their mistakes. While many states require
drivers to carry minimum levels of liability coverage, Florida does not.
There are some exceptions to this rule, but most drivers can have no liability
insurance at all without breaking the law.
However, there is another even more important reason why Florida is a risky
state for accidents. Even though Florida’s auto insurance laws are
very lenient when compared to the rest of the country, there are many
drivers who do not even have the minimum coverage our law requires. They
simply drive without insurance and hope not to get caught.
This is not a new problem. During the great recession which began in 2008,
we began to meet more people who were struck by uninsured drivers. We
assumed hard economic times had caused more drivers to forego car insurance.
By the same token, we hoped that there would be less uninsured drivers
when the economy recovered.
Unfortunately, that has not occurred. In 2009, the number of uninsured
drivers in Florida was generally estimated at 23-percent, or almost a
quarter of drivers on the road. Today, that number is estimated to be
23.8-percent, which is even closer to one-quarter. Clearly, the economic
recovery has not resulted in more people buying insurance for their cars
This leads us to repeat the advice we routinely give our clients: protect
yourself by getting uninsured motorist coverage. State law requires insurance
companies who offer bodily injury liability coverage to also offer uninsured/underinsured
motorist coverage (“UM”). That coverage pays in the place
of the at-fault driver when that driver has (1) no insurance of their
own, or (2) inadequate insurance to cover the injured person’s damages.
Many people who don’t like what they already pay for car insurance
might ask why they should have to pay to protect themselves from the negligence
of others. They have a point. In an ideal world, everyone would be financially
responsible, and this kind of coverage would not be necessary. But the
same people probably would not hesitate to buy an alarm system for their
house. While people would not break in and steal things in an ideal world,
we all know it happens.
We’ve seen enough hard luck stories to know that the roads of Florida
are not an ideal world. We again urge people to protect themselves with
uninsured motorist coverage.
Injured in a
car accident with an uninsured motorist? Learn how Roman & Gaynor can help by
contacting our experienced lawyers today!