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What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance and What are the Benefits?

When people are shopping for auto insurance, they are usually looking for the best price.  However, there are many types of coverages that are available in an auto insurance policy that are not required by law, but greatly protect you, if you are involved in an auto accident. 


Bodily injury coverage pays for the medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages of the other person if you are the at-fault driver in the car accident.  Florida law requires bodily injury coverage at the minimum amount of $10,000 in an auto insurance policy.  You cannot recover from your own bodily injury coverage.  If you are involved in an auto accident that was not your fault, you will seek to recover your damages from the at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage.  However, often times the at-fault driver does not carry auto insurance, does not have this type of coverage, or your claim is worth more than the policy limits of the at fault driver’s coverage.  

 

As a Tampa car accident lawyer, I frequently represent clients who have been in an auto accident where the at-fault driver does not have insurance.  We then look to the types of coverages the clients have in their own auto insurance policy to see if a recovery can be made for your damages.  This reason is why it is important to meet with a Tampa injury attorney prior to purchasing your auto insurance to understand the types of coverages and how you can be protected. 

 

Uninsured motorist coverage will protect you if you are hit from an at-fault driver that does not have insurance or does not carry enough insurance for your claim.  Uninsured motorist coverage is typically defined in your auto insurance policy as follows, “we (your insurance company) will pay compensatory damages which a covered person is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle because of bodily injury sustained by a covered person and caused by an auto accident.” 

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Even if you did not purchase uninsured motorist coverage, you may still be entitled to receive its benefits.  Under Florida law, there must be a properly executed UM selection form if you: (1) reject uninsured motorist benefits, (2) elect uninsured motorist coverage less than your bodily injury policy limits, and (3) elected nonstacked versus stacked uninsured motorist coverage.  If all the requirements of the UM rejection form are not met, you are entitled to uninsured motorist benefits to the same amount of your bodily injury policy limits. 

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If you would like to review your auto insurance policy to learn if you carry the right types of insurance coverage, please contact the Bulluck Law Group at (813) 988-7800 or www.BulluckLawGroup.com to schedule a free consultation with Tampa auto accident lawyer, David M. Bulluck.    



 

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