As a practicing attorney dealing with car accidents in Miami since 1982 I have found that the most mischaracterized and misunderstood areas of the law is automobile insurance coverage. Coverage. often than not the client has been led into buying coverages that the agent suggests. Just as often the agent will often advise against the purchase of UM coverage, commonly known as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. “Uninsured” is just that if you are involved with an uninsured driver or vehicle and you have purchased UM coverage you will be able to recover as if the ‘uninsured’ party was insured. Underinsured is when the adverse party’s coverage is not adequate to compensate the injured party. Again, the UM coverage will come into play as if the adverse party had the higher limit policy purchased by the injured party or insured.
The UM coverage is a problem due to the high number of uninsured or underinsured motorists in the south Florida area. Many agents recommend against this coverage since it is not mandatory. An agent recommending against this coverage (among others) in south Florida is ignoring the facts that approximately 25% of all vehicles in Florida are uninsured.
An equally egregious problem with agents is their zeal to sell a policy even if it does not meet the client’s needs. Very often an agent will provide the absolute minimum coverage to make the sale. Bodily injury liability coverage is not required to drive in Florida. The real problem arises is when the driver who thought he had purchased full coverage purchased the minimum to legally operate a motor vehicle in Florida. The agents rarely disclose all the negatives if a driver without bodily injury coverage is involved in an accident where there is bodily injury. The main negative is liability of the offending driver. The offending driver may lose their Florida Driver’s License without an agreement with the injured party.