A local online newspaper reported that a man on his motorcycle was killed when another driver pulled out in front of him. The at-fault-driver had very little accident insurance and did not see the motorcycle coming. What that led to may help you decide an important question about your own insurance needs, whether you drive a car or a motorcycle.
Florida law allows insurance companies to sell all kinds of auto/motorcycle liability insurance. Liability is the name of insurance that protects you from being sued if you are negligent and cause an accident. When you buy your insurance, Florida law REQUIRES your insurance company to offer you Uninsured/Under-insured motorists coverage. This protects you when the other driver negligently causes an accident and you get seriously hurt. The most important insurance is the kind that protects you and your loved ones… a.k.a UM coverage.
It is estimated that about 30-40% of all drivers carry zero insurance. Odds are pretty good that if you are injured in an accident the other driver will not have any or enough LIABILITY insurance. So, I strongly recommend that you buy Uninsured/Under-insured motorists insurance from your own company. This purchasing decision is made during the application process and every year when you renew. However, you can change your mind any time you want to before the accident if you want to buy uninsured motorists coverage. DO IT NOW!
A hybrid, restricted form of UM coverage is also available. Insurance companies call this Non Stacking UM insurance. For a 20% discount, you can buy UM insurance that covers you all the time unless you happen to be riding in or on a vehicle you own for which you decided NOT to buy full UM coverage. You will be given a written form to review and then sign. The insurance company must keep a copy of the signed policy to prove you picked the limited version. The form says you understand that you do not get UM on cars you own unless they are listed in the policy.
Insurance companies sell policies online. Insurance companies often use electronic signatures. They have a procedure to get your permission to e-sign the forms online. If you buy a policy online should keep a folder of your authorization to your insurance company, allowing it to e-sign your name on the election form. Please keep a folder of all this information either on your computer or a hard copy of your auto insurance so your family can easily get to it in times of need. Your family will be looking for this information if you don’t survive the accident.
If your loved one was killed in an auto accident, please be careful to get an attorney who knows Uninsured motorists law. He will carefully review all the policies to make sure you get all the insurance. Don’t rely on an insurance agent to tell you if you are “fully insured”. Chances are you are not. If you don’t check with an attorney after an accident you could be leaving big bucks on the table. UM applies even when the other driver was under-insured. So, please do your self a big favor and get professional help!