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Home / Articles / Columnists / Legal Advice /  Peace of Mind While Driving on Florida Roads
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Wednesday, July 3,2013

Peace of Mind While Driving on Florida Roads

By David Shiner
Imagine driving your car down a busy street, everything seems normal just like every other day. You’re monitoring your speed and are alert to the other drivers around you; however, in a split second, a car swerves into your lane. You slam your foot on the brakes and frantically try to avoid a collision, but there was nothing you could do to avoid it. You get out of your car to speak to the other driver just to learn the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage. What do you do now?
There are currently 14 million licensed drivers in the State according to Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles, and according to statistics, nearly 24% of those drivers are uninsured. This is not to mention the at-fault driver may not have enough adequate bodily injury insurance to cover the damages resulting from the accident. Based on these statistics, the importance of having Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist (“UM”) protection in Florida has reached its pinnacle by way of legislative decree.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 227,998 vehicle crashes in 2011, with an average of 625 crashes per day - of these vehicle crashes, 181,654 resulted in injuries.

As demonstrated above, “UM” coverage is an essential component of any Florida driver’s insurance coverage. In fact, Florida Statutes mandate bodily injury liability insurance coverage shall not be delivered or issued unless “UM” coverage is provided; however, an insured may make a written rejection of that coverage.

As an attorney focused on representing victims of accidents, I encourage you and your loved ones to review your insurance policy to ensure you have elected to take “UM” insurance coverage for your vehicles. What’s more, because of the importance of “UM” insurance, Florida law requires your insurance company to provide a form that must be signed by the policy holder in in the event an insured rejects “UM” insurance; that form must - according to Florida law - include the following statement in bold, 12-point font: “You are electing not to purchase certain valuable coverage which protects you and your family or you are purchasing uninsured motorist limits less than your bodily injury liability limits when you sign this form. Please read carefully.” If this is signed, it is presumed to be an informed and knowing rejection of “UM” coverage.

I would encourage all Florida drivers and clients to review their insurance policies regularly and ensure you and your loved ones obtain “UM” coverage as soon as possible, so you can be protected adequately and be assured of peace of mind. 

 

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