When it comes to uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance claims, I’ve handled many of them.
Insurance companies have wrongly denied coverage. And I’ve gotten lowball offers too.
After handling many uninsured and underinsured motorist claims, I quickly realized how to increase my chances on getting the best settlement possible.
In this article, I’m going to show you everything you need to know about uninsured and undersinsured motorist insurance claims and settlements.
Let’s start by looking at some frequently asked questions (FAQs). We’ll then look at some of my many uninsured and underinsured motorist settlements.
Here are some frequently asked questions about uninsured motorist insurance settlements:
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage pays you for personal injury caused by the negligence of a driver of an uninsured motor vehicle. It also covers wrongful death damages.
These damages can often include pain, suffering, medical bills, lost wages and more.
Similarly, underinsured motorist coverage pays you if a careless underinsured driver caused your injury.
Unfortunately, there is a large percentage of uninsured drivers in each state. Just look at this map below.
In a state like Florida, between 15 to 26 percent of drivers are uninsured. That is off the charts!
In order for you to be entitled to UM coverage, you must be an insured under a policy that has UM coverage.
Under $15,000. Fortunately, most car accidents don’t result in bad injuries. And minor injuries usually result in small payouts.
The most common complaint after a car accident is whiplash, which usually doesn’t result in a huge settlement. This is especially true if there is minor damage to the cars involved in the accident. If the cars were not badly damaged, most uninsured motorist insurers make a small offer for whiplash. GEICO, Progressive and State Farm typically won’t offer much for an uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance claim for whiplash if there is no (or very little) damage to the vehicles.
If you want a big payout in a minor impact whiplash case, you’ll likely have to take the case to trial. There, you’ll hope for the best. However, it usually costs at least $10,000 to get an uninsured motorist insurance case to trial.
Also, in many uninsured motorist insurance claims, the injured person has already received payment from the at fault driver. If this occurs, the uninsured motorist insurer is entitled to a credit for any payment from the at fault driver. This results in a smaller uninsured motorist settlements.
On the other hand, if you broke a bone in the car accident, the average uninsured motorist insurance settlement is usually above $15,000. If you’ve had surgery to fix the broken bone, the average settlement is often $100,000 (or more). This assumes that there is enough uninsured motorist insurance to pay for the fair value of the case.
In the photo below, you’ll see my client who broke his leg in a car crash. I settled his claim against his underinsured motorist insurer for for $200,000. I settled the entire case for $300,000. He had surgery on his broken leg.
You can get up to the uninsured motorist (UM) bodily injury limits. This is for any UM policies to which you are an insured.
Some states (like Florida) that have stacking and non stacking uninsured limits. In the case of stacked uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, you may be able to get more than the UM limits. With stacked UM coverage, sometimes you add the UM limits from more than one vehicle. This gives you more uninsured motorist coverage.
In a perfect world, your UM insurer should offer you the fair value of your UM claim. However, most of the time they do not. Uninsured motorist insurance companies often lowball you with a small offer. Sadly, they do whatever they can to save money.
To get the uninsured motorist bodily injury policy limits, your UM claim needs to be worth the limits.
In some cases, you may be able to get more than the uninsured motorist insurance limits if the insurer acts in bad faith. For example, this is the case in Florida.
In Florida, you need to file a civil remedy notice (CRN) of insurer violation to get the UM insurance company on the hook above the limits. You also need to send the CRN to the uninsured motorist insurance company. Otherwise, its liability is capped at the UM limit.
It varies from a case to case. That said, there are two factors that determine the time that it takes to get an uninsured motorist bodily injury settlement. They are how badly you are hurt, and the amount of the UM insurance limits.
All things equal, the worse your injury, and the lower the uninsured motorist coverage limits, the faster the settlement.
Because the uninsured motorist bodily injury insurer has more pressure to pay. They don’t want to keep an uninsured motorist claim open if they know that they will eventually have to pay the limits. It’s in their best interest to settle the UM claim if it is worth more than the limits.
Because uninsured motorist insurers don’t want to get sued.
If you don’t have a lawyer, you can expect the UM insurer to delay any payout. My advice is to get an attorney as soon as possible if you have a serious injury and want to make an uninsured motorist claim.
The largest UM insurance payouts are usually those where the claimant has had surgery. Just look at my five biggest uninsured motorist insurance settlements. In all of them, the injured person had surgery to repair a broken bone.
It’s no secret that surgery cases have a higher full value for settlement purposes. And uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance cases are no exception.
This is for three reasons. With surgery, the pain and suffering award is usually much higher. Also, surgery results in higher medical billed charges. Many surgeries also leave a scar, which adds value to the case.
The only benefit of rejecting uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is that your car insurance premium will be lower. Other than that, it is a bad decision to reject UM coverage.
Even someone who has the best other insurance coverages can benefit by getting uninsured motorist coverage.
For example, let’s assume that someone has long term disability coverage, long term care insurance, and health insurance. This individual can still benefit with UM coverage. This is because uninsured motorist coverage fills it gaps that other insurance does not cover.
Here is how:
Long-term disability (LTD) insurance usually only cover 60% of your income when you have become seriously injured. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it pays the 40% of your income that LTD insurance does not cover. If you are in a bad accident, that 40% can be a huge benefit to you.
However, the reality is that most Americans don’t have long term disability insurance. That means that uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage will often pay 100% of your lost wages from an accident. Additionally, many Americans are uninsured. Therefore, UM coverage often pays for medical bills that are due to a car accident.
How do you find out the at fault driver’s insurance limit?
You send a letter to the careless driver’s insurer asking for the driver’s bodily injury liability coverage limits. (The letter should typically ask for additional information but that is outside the scope of this article).
In certain states, a driver’s insurance must tell you its insured’s bodily injury liability coverage limit. For example, in Florida, within 30 days of receiving your written request, the insurer must tell you, in writing, the limits of BIL coverage. Florida Statute 627.4137
If the other driver doesn’t have BIL insurance, you can make a claim for compensation under the UM coverage of the car that you were driving.
If a driver caused your crash but left the scene, can you make an uninsured motorist insurance claim?
In Florida, most policies include vehicles operated by hit-and-run drivers and “phantom” vehicles in the definition of “uninsured motor vehicle.” This is true even if the at fault vehicle cannot be identified, or physical contact did not occurr. Brown v. Progressive Mutual Insurance Co., 249 So.2d 429 (Fla. 1971); Denoia v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., 843 So.2d 285 (Fla. 3d DCA
2003); Taylor v. Phoenix Insurance Co., 622 So.2d 506 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993).
This means that most people injured in Florida can make a claim for uninsured motorist insurance (if its available) even if a hit and run driver left the scene. The same is true if a driver did something wrong but did not strike you or your vehicle.
On the other hand, if you are visiting Florida from another state and were injured by a hit and run vehicle or phantom vehicle, your out of state policy may require physical contact to provide uninsured motorist benefits. In this instance, you or your lawyer needs to review your auto insurance policy.
If your policy does not require physical contact, it may require an independent witness who can confirm that the other vehicle caused your accident.
As promised, we’ll now look at some of my many uninsured motorist insurance settlements.
$300K Settlement After Suing Underinsured Motorist and UIM Insurance Company
Ryan lived in Georgia. However, he was in Florida for a business trip. While in Florida, Ryan rented a car from Avis rental car.
Ryan was driving the rental car in Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida. When doing so, another car was coming in the opposite direction.
The other car made a left hand turn and crashed into Ryan’s car. Consequently, they crashed.
The other driver got a ticket for failure to yield the right of way.
To illustrate, the diagram from the crash report is below. Ryan was driving vehicle #2 (in the diagram).
After the accident, a friend took a photo of Ryan’s rental car.
Here it is:
While Ryan was in the hospital, he completed my free consultation request form to see if I could represent him. After we spoke, Ryan hired me.
Surgery increases the full settlement value of an uninsured motorist claim. After the surgery, doctors took an x-ray of Ryan’s broken leg.
Here is the image:
Allstate insured the driver who received a ticket for causing the crash. They paid his $100,000 BIL insurance limits.
In Georgia, Ryan owned a car. Travelers Insurance Company insured it. In fact, Ryan had underinsured motorist insurance on his car.
I explained to Ryan the possible benefit of suing the uninsured motorist insurance company. He gave me consent to sue. I sued Travelers in Pinellas County, Florida.
After suing the underinsured motorist and Travelers, we settled the entire case. Specifically, Travelers paid us $200,000 to settle Ryan’s uninsured motorist insurance lawsuit. This is much larger than the average underinsured motorist settlement.
Again, the entire personal injury settlement was for $300,000. If you look at the final amounts that we had to pay back the workers’ compensation insurer (and Ryan’s out of pocket medical bills), 97% of the settlement was for pain and suffering.
After my attorney’s fees, costs and paying the workers’ compensation lien and out of pocket medical bills, Ryan got $187,371 in his pocket.
This pie graph shows the breakdown.
The total settlement was about X times Ryan’s final workers’ compensation lien and out of pocket medical bills:
I’ve given you a very basic version of this uninsured motorist insurance settlement.
This claim was actually complicated.
Because Ryan was injured in while visiting Florida from another state. I had to deal with the laws of two states. This required lots of research.
Specifically, on how Georgia uninsured motorist insurance works for a Florida car accident.
In addition, the at fault driver died. I made a claim against his estate.
$100K Underinsured Motorist Coverage Settlement ($325K Total Payout)
Here is a short video about this settlement:
A Switzerland resident was in Miami for vacation. He had rented a car from Alamo Rent a Car. A federal government employee was driving a rental car in Miami, Florida.
While the Swiss man was standing next to his rental car, the driver hit him. As a result of the impact, the pedestrian fractured his leg bone (tibia). Shortly after the accident, the international visitor got a free consultation with me.
After we spoke on Skype, he hired me. (I’ve written a lot about the rights of international tourists (foreigners) who are injured in Florida.)
The driver rented a car with Hertz Car Rental. At the time, the federal government had a contract with Hertz that gave drivers $100,000 in bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company insured Hertz. I made a claim with Philadelphia. They paid me the $100,000 BIL limits.
When my client rented a car with Alamo, he purchased liability coverage. This means that he was also entitled to $100,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. Ace American Insurance Company insured his rental car.
I made an underinsured motorist claim with Ace American
I argued that the government car was “uninsured” since the federal government is self-insured. Therefore, I argued that my client had an underinsured motorist claim against Ace American.
However, Ace American Insurance Company is likely most insurance companies. They are cheap. They did not pay. In fact, they did not offer me a penny.
Next, I filed a civil remedy notice of insurer violation. They hired attorney Dan Santaniello (Luks & Santaniello) to defend them. Instead of suing the uninsured motorist insurance company, I gave it chance to settle for $100,000 limits. About 60 days later, Ace paid me the $100,000 UM limits. This is much bigger than the average underinsured motorist settlement.
I then sued the United States of America because the federal employee driver was underinsured. During the lawsuit, I settled with the United States government for $125,000.
The total settlement against all parties was for $325,000.
When the insurance companies paid this claim, I estimate that 78% of the settlement was for pain and suffering. The rest was likely designated for medical bills.
After my attorney’s fees, costs and paying the workers’ compensation lien and out of pocket medical bills, my client got a check for $151,522.
Take a look at the breakdown:
The total $325 payout was about 4.5 times my client’s final health insurance lien that we paid back.
Most uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance settlements for a pedestrian hit by a car are not this high. This is because most car accidents don’t result in a broken bone and surgery.
$130K Uninsured Motorist Insurance Bodily Injury Settlement
A woman was a passenger in a car on a highway in Bonifay, Florida. An uninsured car hit them. After the accident, the passenger had shoulder pain. She reached out to my office for a free consultation.
I spoke with her. After we spoke, she hired me. She claimed the the crash caused or worsened her rotator cuff tear.
She made a claim against her UM insurer, and the UM insurer of the car that she was in (“host car”). Nationwide Insurance Company insured each.
Nationwide paid the host car’s $100,000 UM insurance limits, and $30,000 of the passenger’s UM insurance policy. The total settlement was for $130,000. I was able to get this settlement without suing the underinsured motorist or the insurance companies.
The host car’s Medical payments (Medpay) insurance paid $8,433 of her medical bills.
Uninsured Motorist Claim Leads to $150K Total Settlement
Ron (not real name) was a passenger in a car in Miami, Florida. Another car was heading in the opposite direction. The other car made a left hand turn. They crashed.
Paramedics came to the scene. An ambulance took Ron to the hospital. After Ron left the hospital, he contacted my office. After I gave him a free consultation, he hired me.
He claimed that the crash caused or worsened a herniated disc. My client was insured with Allstate.
He had low back surgery (fusion). Without me having to sue the underinsured motorist insurance company (Allstate), it paid me the $100,000 UM limits.
Surgery increases the full settlement value of a case.
Progressive insured the careless driver with $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage. Progressive paid its $50k limits to settle. They did so without me suing the underinsured driver.
$100K Underinsured Motorist Settlement ($110 Total Payout)
A pedestrian was hit by a car in Homestead, Miami-Dade County, Florida. She had fractures in face, resulting in surgery.
Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance (RAC partners) insured the driver with $10,000 BI limits. They paid the $10,000 limits without a lawsuit.
The pedestrian was a named insured on a car insurance policy with $100,000 in UM coverage with Progressive. Without me suing the underinsured motorist insurer (Progressive), it paid me $100,000 UIM insurance limits.
$10K Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Payout is Part of $210K Total Settlement
Bob (not real name) was driving a truck for work. The front of his truck smashed into the back of a truck that Mike was driving for work.
Mike hurt his shoulder. Bob’s employer, a trucking company, had a $2 Million dollar BI policy with a $250,000 self-insured retention with Travelers Insurance.
We argued that the trucking company was “uninsured” under Florida law, since the trucking company had a self-insured retention.
Travelers first offer was $25,000. Travelers paid $200,000 to settle my client’s personal injury claim.
Mike had a $10,000 of Progressive UM insurance on his personal car. Even though Mike was driving a work vehicle, Mike’s Progressive Insurance paid the truck driver its $10,000 UM limits.
This chart shows the difference between the first offer and the settlement amount.
Most of the uninsured motorist settlement and bodily injury settlement was for pain and suffering:
After my injury attorney fees, costs and paying his out of pocket medical bills and workers’ compensation lien, Mike got $117,776 in his pocket.
$50K Uninsured Motorist Claim Payout
A young driver (Andrew) lost control of his car. He crashed into the guardrail. He suffered a hip fracture. An ambulance took him to the hospital.
Doctors performed surgery on him. Specifically, they put hardware put inside his hip.
Andrew told the police officer that another car cut him off. He said that the other car left the scene.
Andrew received a ticket.
He actually hired us for another accident. He had a broken wrist from that other accident. We settled his case for $35,000 (policy limits). During that claim, we learned about his hip fracture.
He didn’t know that he had an uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance claim. Fortunately, his mother had purchased $10,000 worth of stacking uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage with GEICO. She had five vehicles under the GEICO policy. Thus, there was $50,000 in uninsured motorist insurance.
We settled his hip fracture case for the $50,000 uninsured motorist insurance limits. GEICO quickly paid me the limits. The uninsured motorist insurance adjuster didn’t even take Andrew’s statement.
$45K Underinsured Motorist Coverage Settlement with Lyft ($70k Total Payout)
A Lyft passenger was injured in a car accident in Miami Shores. The passenger claimed that the crash caused his injuries.
Specifically, he claimed that he had neck and back pain. He also had wrist and ankle injuries.
In Florida, if an Uber vehicle has a passenger(s), there is $250,000 in available uninsured motorist insurance. That is good news for passengers and drivers.
In Florida, Lyft does not have uninsured motorist coverage on its vehicles.
Underinsured Motorist Insurance Pays $47K of $57K Settlement
A police officer suffered back injury, while he was on duty, when he was rear ended in a car accident in Medley, Miami-Dade County, Florida.
The driver who caused the accident received a ticket for following too closely. We received the policy limits of $10,000 from the at fault party’s insurance company, State Farm.
My client suffered a bulging disc and was a candidate for back surgery (lumbar laminectomy). He had epidural shots to his lower back.
Travelers Insurance insured the police officer’s personal car with uninsured motorist insurance. Even though he was working at the time of the accident, Travelers UIM paid $47,000 to settle the case.
Since the cop was working at the time of the crash, workers compensation for the police department paid over $17,000 in indemnity (lost wages) and medical benefits.
Bicyclist’s Underinsured Motorist Insurance Pays $42,500 of $52,000 Settlement for Back Injury
A bicyclist was riding his bike in Miami-Dade County, Florida. A car cut him off and they crashed.
The bike rider claimed that he suffered a herniated disc and compression fracture in his spine. The car had $10,000 in BI insurance. The car’s insurer paid its $10,000 limits.
USAA insured the bicyclist’s car with UIM insurance. USAA paid $42,500 to settle.
Underinsured Motorist Insurance Pays $19K of $39K Settlement
Eric (not real name), a man in his 30’s, was diagnosed with a herniated disc in his lower back following an auto accident. The damage to his pickup truck is below.
The crash happened in Pinecrest, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Before this crash, he received years of chiropractic treatment on the same levels in his lower back that he claimed were injured in this accident.
He had epidurals to his lower back after this accident. GEICO insured the negligent driver with $20,000 of bodily injury (BI) liability coverage.
GEICO paid its $20,000 limits. My client had UIM insurance coverage with Star & Shield Casualty (NARS).
North American Risk Services (NARS) handled the claim for Star & Shield.
NARS paid $19,000 to settle his personal injury claim. The total settlement was $39,000.
Underinsured Motorist Insurance Pays $25K of $33K Settlement
On July 30, 2018, Shankeva was a passenger in her boyfriend’s car in Holly Hill, Florida.
Another driver (vehicle 1) hit another car (vehicle 2) head-on. Vehicle 2 then struck the car in which Shankeva was a passenger.
The Daytona Beach News Journal wrote a story about this accident. Here is a photo of paramedics taking her out of the car.
Shankeva suffered an acetabular fracture. An acetabular fracture is a break in the socket portion of the “ball-and-socket” hip joint.
Unfortunately, vehicle 1 only had $10,000 per person in BIL insurance. This was a multi-car accident. We got $8,000 of the $10,000 BIL insurance limit.
Shankeva was a passenger in a car that State Farm insured.
The good news?
Specifically, the car had $25,000 per person in uninsured motorist insurance coverage.
Within just 30 days of the accident, State Farm paid us the $25,000 uninsured motorist insurance limit. I settled the entire injury claim for $33,000. Most of the settlement was for pain and suffering.
$30K Uninsured Motorist Insurance Settlement
My client claimed that a rear end crash caused her herniated disc.
The accident happened in Miami, Florida.
$25K Uninsured Motorist Insurance Settlement
See a case where a passenger was rear ended by an uninsured driver. The crash happened in Key Largo, Florida.
Here is my client’s video testimonial:
Underinsured Insurance Pays $10K of $20K Settlement
Here is a short video about the settlement:
Tracy was driving a pickup truck in Homestead, Florida. Unfortunately, another driver crashed into the back of Tracy’s truck.
Tracy suffered a cuts to his finger. He also complained of shoulder pain and bruising to his leg and spine.
Tracy had a small, permanent scar to his finger, from the avulsion injury.
He never regained sensation to the tip of his finger.
Tracy had $10,000 in uninsured motorist insurance with Progressive. Progressive (UIM) paid us $10,000 to settle the case.
The entire settlement was for $20,000. I represented him.
UM Insurer Pays $10K (of $20K Settlement) Without Suing Underinsured Motorist Insurer
Liz was in a car that was T-boned by another car at an intersection in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Liz claimed that the accident caused or aggravated a herniated disc in her lower back.
I represented Liz.
Progressive UM Insurance Pays $10K of $20K Settlement for Miami Car Accident (Herniated Disc)
Henry was in a car that was T-boned by another car at an intersection in Miami-Dade County, Florida. After the accident, he hired a Miami car accident lawyer (me).
Henry claimed that the accident caused or aggravated a herniated disc in her lower back.
Infinity Indemnity Insurance Company insured the other driver. Infinity paid the BI liability insurance $10,000 limits.
Progressive Insurance paid its $10,000 UIM Insurance limits.
What Happens if the Careless Driver Has BIL Insurance, But Not Enough?
Assume that the tortfeasor (careless) driver has BIL insurance, but not enough to fully compensate the injured person or in the case of death, the personal representative, for personal injuries or wrongful death.
You then need to decide if you are willing to release the careless driver from all personal injury liability in exchange for his or her BIL insurance limits. If you are, and you want to make a UM insurance claim, you need to follow a procedure. Florida Statute 627.727(6)(a)
You send a copy of the settlement check, and the written disclosure of BIL insurance limits, to all underinsured motorist insurers that provide coverage. This written notice of the proposed settlement must be sent by certified or registered mail.
The UM insurer has 30 days to match the BIL insurer’s offer, or waive subrogation. Either way, you still have a UM claim against the UM insurer.
Example (Careless Driver is Underinsured; UM Covers You)
Mike is driving a car. Assume Mike is entitled to uninsured motorist insurance coverage. (Perhaps he had UM insurance on the car that he was driving. Maybe he was driving the car of a relative that Mike lived with, and the car had UM coverage on it.)
A driver of another car rear ends you and you are injured.
The other driver or owner has $10,000 in liability coverage, which is the most common scenario in Miami and throughout Florida.
Assume your bodily injury claim is worth $20,000. You can make a claim against the uninsured motorist insurance because the tortfeasor does not have enough liability coverage to pay for your bodily injury.
What if You’re Hurt in Your Car (Without UM), But You Have UM on Another Car That You Own?
Assume that Bob is driving his own car in Florida. He doesn’t have uninsured motorist insurance on it.
Bob is hurt due to the negligence of an underinsured car. If Bob has non-stacking UM on another car that he owns, can he use that UM for this accident?
To answer this question, you have to read the car insurance policy (that has the UM) to see if it has an “owned auto” exclusion. If it does, Bob can’t use his UM from the vehicle that wasn’t involved in the accident.
There was a recent case where a motorcycle was not defined as an auto for the “owned auto” exclusion. Rather the “owned auto” was defined as four or more wheels. Thus, in that instance, there was UM coverage. However, if it had been an auto, there would have been no coverage. (If you know the case name, please let me know in the comments below and I will add it here.)
Would the answer be the same if Bob was injured in a Florida car accident, but was visiting from another state?
For example, let’s say that Bob was visiting from Georgia but was driving his Florida car without UM. In this instance, I think Bob’s Georgia uninsured motorist insurance (on the car that wasn’t involved in the accident) wouldn’t pay for his injuries. This is because Bob was driving his own car without UM coverage.
You’re Driving Your Live-in Girlfriend’s Car. Will her UM Cover You?
Yes, you’re covered under your girlfriend’s UM. This assumes that she did not make a material misrepresentation or concealment when she completed her insurance application. Even if she didn’t tell her car insurance company that you lived together when she applied for insurance, the better insurance companies are unlikely or less likely to deny coverage.
This is true regardless of whether your girlfriend has non-stacking UM, or stacking UM.
Does an Uber driver get uninsured motorist coverage from his own policy?
Let’s assume that you are driving an Uber with the app on in Florida. However, you have not yet accepted a ride. Another car hits you and takes off.
In a state like Florida, there is some bad news:
If you read Uber’s insurance policy, you’ll see that Uber won’t give you uninsured motorist (UM) benefits in this instance. This is because you had not accepted a ride when you were hit.
Let’s assume that you have insurance with your personal auto insurer. Maybe you have insurance with State Farm or another company. And we’ll assume that purchased UM coverage on this policy.
The bad news?
State Farm may try to claim that your policy does not provide UM coverage in this instance. They may argue that the following clause in your personal policy excludes UM coverage:
We do not provide Uninsured Motorists Coverage for bodily injury sustained by any insured:
While occupying your covered auto when it is being used as a public or livery conveyance. This exclusion (A.2.) does not apply to a share-the-experience car pool.Your own car insurance policy language
In this instance, you need to know the your state’s law regarding uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. Since this accident happened in Florida, you should look for an Uber accident lawyer in Florida who can review your policy’s UM coverage. When doing so, your rideshare accident lawyer can see if your car insurance company is correct in denying you UM coverage.
Will I Get an UM Insurance Settlement if I’m Injured While on a Motorcycle?
Possibly. There will need to be uninsured motorist insurance on the motorcycle. If not, if the motorcyclist owns a car with uninsured motorist insurance, it may pay the rider.
Likewise, if the motorcycle rider lives with a relative who had uninsured motorist insurance, it may pay compensation.
Whether or not the injured person will be entitled to the relative’s uninsured motorist insurance depends on how the term “insured” is defined in under the liability and uninsured motorist coverage in the policy.
Some insurance policies have said that a relative who owns a car isn’t an insured under the policy. In that instance, the injured motorcycle rider isn’t entitled to his relative’s uninsured motorist insurance.
Years ago, Dairyland Insurance Company’s auto insurance policy said that a relative who owned car couldn’t claim uninsured motorist insurance under their relative’s auto policy. The court agreed. The case is Dairyland Insurance Co. v. Kriz, 495 So.2d 892 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986).
In another case, a court rejected a similar claim for uninsured motorist benefits with Liberty Mutual. The case was France v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, 380 So.2d 1155 (Fla. 3d DCA 1980). This was an older case. It’s possible that Liberty Mutual’s current insurance policy would provide UM benefits.
I can’t stress this enough:
The injured person (or his attorney) needs to get a copy of the complete auto insurance policy.
Additionally, for uninsured motorist insurance to apply, another’s driver’s negligence must have caused the motorcycle rider’s injury. Otherwise, the rider won’t be entitled to a motorcycle accident settlement. At least not from uninsured motorist insurance.
Will a Rental Car Driver’s Personal UM Insurance Cover You if You’re Injured While a Passenger?
No, if you are not a relative of the rental car driver.
Let me give an example to explain this.
Assume Amy has uninsured motorist coverage on her personal car. Amy is not related to Bob.
While on vacation in Florida, Amy rents a car. Amy and Bob are in the rental car. An uninsured driver (of another car) hits Amy’s rental car. The other driver was negligent. As a result, Bob is injured.
Will Amy’s uninsured motorist insurance pay for Bob’s medical bills? Will Amy’s uninsured motorist insurance pay compensation for Bob’s lost wages? What about Bob’s pain and suffering?
In this example, the answer is No. Amy’s uninsured motorist insurance will not pay for Bob’s injury.
Because Bob is a a Class II insured. In other words, Bob is not a relative of Amy’s.
A class II insured only gets the benefit of uninsured motorist insurance on the car itself. A class II insured can’t tap into the rental car driver’s personal uninsured motorist coverage.
What if Bob was a relative of Amy, and he lived with her?
In this instance, Bob may be able to get a settlement with Amy’s uninsured motorist insurance company.
Because resident relatives are considered Class I insureds. A Class I insured is entitled to the rental car driver’s personal uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance.
Which Rental Car Companies Offer $1 Million in Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
If you purchased Liability Insurance Supplement (LIS) with Thrifty, Dollar or Hertz, it includes $1 million in uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage. This can be huge if the at fault driver is uninsured, and you’re badly injured.
The UM/UIM coverage applies (while occupying the car) for bodily injury and property damage.
Who insures Thrifty, Dollar and Hertz?
Ace American Insurance insures Thrifty. You should hire an attorney that can show you his past settlements with Ace. I’ve settled case with Ace. ESIS handles Thrifty’s car accident claims and settlements.
Most uninsured motorist cases aren’t worth anywhere near $1 million. That is a lot of money.
Which Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cases are Worth $1 Million or More?
Some uninsured motorist insurance claims may be worth $1 million (or more). The most common cases that have a full settlement value above $1 million (or more) are if you’ve suffered one of the following:
- Brain injury that required surgery to your skull
- Shearing of the brain and complaints of headaches, dizziness, memory loss and balance issues
- Several surgeries to a body part and you’ve developed chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Paralysis from the waist or neck down
- Above the knee Amputation, or arm amputation
Why does a brain injury (with surgery) case have a full settlement value of over $1 million?
First, the hospital charges may easily be over $500,000. Additionally, the neurosurgeon and other doctors will have high bills.
Brain injuries often come with serious issues like dizziness, memory loss, balance issues, anxiety, depression, personality changes and headaches. Uninsured motorist insurance companies often put a high value on brain injuries. The biggest damage component of a brain injury is for pain and suffering.
Rental Car Occupants Should Not Quickly Settle With the At Fault Driver
Assume that the at fault driver has $50,000 in BIL coverage. Assume that the an injured rental car occupant has a brain injury and surgery. Here, the injured person’s claim is worth much more than the at fault driver’s $50,000 BIL coverage limit. In this instance, he or she should not quickly settle his or her injury case for $50,000 with the at fault driver.
First, the injured person does not want to give up the right to make a UM claim. This can happen if the you don’t follow a particular UM claim procedure. The tourist can also lose his UM claim if the settlement release with the at fault driver’s insurer is poorly worded.
Second, the injured person does not want to end up in Federal court. He or she wants to keep the case in Florida state court. There are many advantages to keeping your case state court (instead of Federal court).
Which Rental Car Companies Offer $100K in UM Coverage in Florida?
Alamo Rent a Car and National Car Rental. If you rented a car from Alamo Rent a Car, hopefully you purchased Extended Protection (EP). EP is optional. It is not required.
EP includes UM/UIM coverage for bodily injury and property damage in an amount equal to the minimum financial responsibility limits applicable to the Vehicle (the Primary Protection).
EP also includes additional coverage through an excess liability policy, with limits for the difference between the statutory minimum underlying limits and $100,000 per accident.
Again, Florida doesn’t have a minimum UM limit. Thus, Alamo’s UM limit is $100,000 per accident.
Like Alamo’s EP insurance coverage is underwritten by Ace American Insurance Company.
National Car Rental also offers $100,000 in UM coverage if the renter purchased Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI).
Does Avis or Budget Rent a Car Offer Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
I’m not sure if Budget Rent a Car’s Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) includes Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist coverage.
However, Florida doesn’t require UM coverage. Thus, I assume Budget’s SLI does not have UM coverage. However, I’m not sure.
Avis’ website says that Additional Liability Insurance does not include UM/UIM coverageexcept in states where mandated by law up to maximum amount of $100,000 or in such amounts as mandated by law.
Thus, I assume that Avis does not offer UM coverage in Florida.
Some Other Rental Car Companies Don’t Offer UM Coverage (in Florida)
Unfortunately, some Florida rental car companies don’t offer uninsured motorist coverage. This is tru even if you purchase LIS coverage when you rent a car. Examples of companies that I’ve seen who don’t offer UM coverage are small (mom and pop) rental companies, Enterprise Rent a Car, Sixt, Advantage Rent a Car.
Basically, if you want to be able to make an uninsured motorist claim for a car accident in Florida, don’t rent a car through Sixt or Advantage Rent a Car.
Sixt Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) is underwritten by ACE USA.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Uninsured Motorist Insurance Settlement?
It varies from a case to case. I know people don’t want to hear that answer. But it’s the truth.
There are countless factors that affect the time it takes to settle a personal injury case.
You’ve now seen some of my uninsured motorist settlements. Please take a look at some of my personal injury settlements.
Which insurance companies make the smallest uninsured motorist claim payouts?
When it comes to uninsured motorist claims, the cheapest insurance companies are Progressive, Allstate, Farmers. They offer the least compensation for pain and suffering.
The best paying uninsured motorist insurance companies are The Hartford, Nationwide, Hanover, Travelers and USAA. They pay above average but will still fight you hard.
As far as uninsured and underinsured motorist claim payouts, GEICO and State Farm are currently average. They have years where they are really cheap, and other years when they are just average.
Will you get a big uninsured motorist bodily injury settlement if you’re a passenger in an Uber of Lyft car?
In Florida, Lyft no longer carriers uninsured motorist insurance coverage.
In Florida, Uber has $250,000 in uninsured motorist insurance coverage if their is a passenger in the car.
Let me give you an example of how uninsured motorist works in an Uber accident in Florida.
Mike is a passenger in an Uber car in Florida. Another driver crashes into the back of the Uber car. Mike is injured. He breaks his pelvis or hip and has 3 surgeries. Or maybe he has head pain and an MRI shows that he has brain shearing.
If the car that hit the Uber is uninsured, Mike, can make a claim with Uber’s uninsured motorist company for up to $250,000 from Uber’s insurance company. Mike will be competing with any other passengers and the driver for this $250,000 in per accident coverage.
In this case, Mike’s injuries are worth over $250,000. Thus, his hopefully he has UM coverage on his own car insurance policy, or on a relative’s (who Mike lives with) auto insurance policy.
The best case scenario for badly injured rideshare passengers is if the Uber of Lyft driver is at fault. This is because Uber and Lyft carry a $1 million liability policy that covers the passengers if the rideshare driver is at fault.
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