Tip: When you are researching uninsured motorist law, remember that many cases were decided using the older version of this statute. Use the statute that existed when the policy is renewed or issued.
Example – If Careless Driver Has No Insurance; UM Covers You
You are driving a car in Florida. Assume that the car insurance policy that covers the car has UM insurance on it.
A driver of another car rear ends you. You’re hurt.
You send a letter to the careless driver’s insurer asking for the driver’s BIL insurance limits. (The letter should typically ask for additional information but that is outside the scope of this article).
Assume that the careless driver has a Florida auto insurance policy. If so, then within 30 days of receiving your written request, the insurer must tell you, in writing, the limits of BI 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.
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.
Articles on Florida Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage
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