Uninsured Motorist Coverage
The thrill and excitement of riding a motorcycle also bring vast vulnerability on the road. The negligence or mistakes of other drivers can bring serious bodily harm to any motorcyclist, regardless of experience or fault. However, Florida only requires that drivers have $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection coverage. That doesn’t cover a catastrophic injury or death. With Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, you can ride more freely knowing that you’re protected against all drivers.
Read these two case studies of recent DWKMRS clients to learn how their lives were changed by uninsured drivers while they were on their bikes.
Case Study #1:
In one Florida case, handled by DWKMRS attorney Tony Sos, a 46-year-old motorcyclist was struck by a driver who ran a stop sign. A medical helicopter transport saved the client’s life, but the injuries he incurred will result in lifelong orthopedic and cognitive issues.
Despite the fact that the other driver was operating a government vehicle and therefore had protection under Florida law due to sovereign immunity, Sos was able to prove the government’s liability and negotiated a settlement in excess of the statutory caps to help him with his past and future financial needs. The motorcyclist is now permanently disabled, and UM coverage would have helped achieve a better recovery for him.
Case Study #2:
In another case, handled by Board Certified Trial Lawyer Brian Wilson of DWKMRS, a middle-aged motorcyclist riding on a busy Orlando road was pinned against a light post by a car pulling out of a Target parking lot, resulting in the amputation of his leg.
The other driver was determined to be at fault, but was barely covered by a minimal $10,000 liability policy. Because our client only purchased uninsured motorist coverage on his personal automobile but not his motorcycle, his claim was excluded under the terms of his UM policy. And because the other driver had no other assets to help cover medical bills, our client only received the $10,000 policy limit, even though he suffered devastating injuries.
While we were able to help these drivers and their families, their settlements would have been more had the parties purchased the maximum uninsured motorist coverage for their motorcycles on their insurance policies.
We want you to be informed about this coverage so you can understand how valuable UM insurance is to you and your family.
Have more questions? We’ve got answers.
How is uninsured motorist insurance different from liability insurance?
Unless, of course, that driver is uninsured. That’s when your uninsured motorist coverage comes in: to pay for you and your passengers’ injuries and damages when the other driver’s insurance can’t. Basically, UM coverage replaces the liability coverage that the other driver should have been insured with.
What is the difference between stacked and unstacked UM coverage?
Check out the following example:
A Florida household with 2 cars and a motorcycle insures each vehicle separately with a 50/100 UM non-stacked policy. Those numbers mean that if the driver of one of those cars gets into an accident with an uninsured motorist, then insurance will pay a maximum of $50,000 for any one person in (or on) the vehicle, and a maximum of $100,000 for all the people in the vehicle. If that household pays to stack their coverage between vehicles, then that coverage multiplies from 50/100 to 150/300, because all of their vehicles’ policies kick in to cover the driver (or rider) and his passengers.
Unstacked UM coverage means that each of those 50k policies applies to just the driver and the occupants of that vehicle, and not the other cars in the household.
Is it possible to stack UM coverage from your automobile over to your motorcycle?
What are your recommended minimum coverages?
Why is it important to have UM coverage even if you have health and/or disability insurance?
What is different about Florida’s UM coverage (as compared to other states)?
In addition, there are states around the country in which you are not allowed to use your UM coverage if the at-fault driver has higher liability limits than your UM insurance. But for Floridians, that’s not the case, which is a great advantage for residents of our state.
Is UM insurance required in Florida?
Generally speaking, what else do I need to know about UM insurance?
- That it follows you as a pedestrian or bicyclist.
- That you can’t buy more UM coverage than liability coverage, although stacking lets you get around that.
- That you have very little ability to financially recover from injuries due to the negligence of an uninsured driver if you do not carry UM insurance on your policy.