Getting into an accident is definitely stressful and the last thing you want to deal with. But since we cannot completely control the actions of others, the best thing we can do is to know our rights and implement proper action when in a car accident. This is specifically important if you are hit by an uninsured driver since you will be dealing with the injuries, property damage, and insurance company.
Uninsured drivers are an enormous problem across the nation, especially in Florida. It has been estimated that 1 out of 8 American drivers has no insurance. Meanwhile, in Sunshine State, around 27 percent of drivers are not insured. Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee, and New Mexico are also among the states with higher rates of uninsured drivers. Quite lucky are those who live in New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Massachusetts because the rate of uninsured drivers is low.
If you see the news every day, almost there are cases of accidents. But what really happens when you are in an accident with an uninsured driver?
First of all, that depends on where state you live—there are no-fault and tort states. Let’s tackle each of them for deeper understanding.
About 12 states are no-fault—including Florida. Here, the damages or injuries are covered by the driver and his/her insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. While you can file a case against the driver because of the severe collision, your auto insurance will cover you up to the policy restrictions, including your deductible and collision or comprehensive coverage levels. Hitting an uninsured driver would mean a lot of out-of-pocket costs for you. As a result, many Florida insurance companies offer an optional coverage option called uninsured or underinsured driver to help with these extra out-of-pocket expenses.
If you are in a state with civil wrong or traditional tort insurance laws, chances are the insurance of whoever was at fault will have to pay. If you were at fault, your auto insurance would pay for the medical expenses and damages. But, if you are hit by a driver who is uninsured, and the police determine the accident was not your fault, there are two things that could happen:
(1) Your insurance will pay for the damages only if you have uninsured or underinsured driver coverage in your insurance policy.
(2) Sue the driver, but since he doesn’t have insurance, he likely does not have much in the way of assets to recuperate your losses.
Since all major auto insurance companies offer uninsured or underinsured coverage, you will not have difficulty finding the right coverage according to your demands. You will have to pay a little more to get this form of insurance for extra protection against underinsured or uninsured drivers. This will cover the medical costs and damages caused by accident. Although, it is only up to the limits of your policy.
Getting hit by an underinsured or uninsured driver is a large risk while driving in Florida and an important insurance coverage option to consider. If you are interested in exploring your coverage options further, then get in touch with one of our independent insurance agents to see what car insurance coverages and savings we can find for you to keep you safe while driving on the road.