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Life is full of uncertainty. That’s why we buy insurance – to protect ourselves against things that will possibly, eventually happen. In the world of auto insurance, this eventuality equates to a collision about once every 17.9 years (according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, a trade association that tracks and analyzes insurance data). That means, if you drive to the ripe old age of 85, you will have three to four accidents in your lifetime.
We buy car insurance to protect ourselves. But we also buy it because it’s mandatory (except in the state of New Hampshire). Of the estimated 200 million people who drive cars in the U.S., an estimated one in seven (or 13.8%) is uninsured. These uninsured motorists cost their law-abiding counterparts billions of dollars every year – not only in damages, but in uninsured motorist coverage as well.
Uninsured-underinsured motorist coverage is not mandatory. However, if you don’t have it, you might want to consider adding it to your policy. It’s a way of insuring yourself and protecting your assets. Think about it. Let’s say you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver and need on-going medical care, including rehabilitation. You are unable to work during your recovery time and lose wages. In addition, your home needs to be modified (for example, if you are in a wheel chair and need a ramp). Who’s going to pay for all this? Not the driver who hit you. They don’t have insurance. And, more than likely, they don’t have coverage because they can’t afford it. You could try to take them to court; but regardless of what the court rules, if they can’t pay, they can’t pay. Uninsured motorist coverage can cover all this, including the pain and suffering standard insurance does not. And, the really good news about this type of coverage is that your insurance rates should not rise as a result of using your coverage.
When deciding whether or not to add uninsured motorist coverage to your policy, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you live in a state with low minimum insurance requirements? Florida doesn’t require any liability insurance of most other drivers on the road.
- Does your state have a high percentage of uninsured drivers? Many estimate that over 2 of every 3 drivers in Florida have little or no liability insurance.
- How much do you value peace of mind? Most people only have about three months of savings for emergency situations.
- How much do you have to lose if you are hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver? Everything you have worked so hard for is at risk.
If you have questions, please call our office for assistance. We’d be happy to go over your policy and make recommendations to help you ensure that you are fully covered in any accident situation.