Do I need Uninsured Motorist Coverage if I have Health Insurance?

Here is the Question?

If I have Medicare or Health insurance, will it respond if I am injured in an auto accident? Do I need Uninsured Motorist coverage if I have Medicare or Health Insurance?

In Florida, your auto insurance policy should include Personal Injury Protection (PIP-No Fault), Medical Payments, Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Coverage and Uninsured Motorist Coverage.

If you or a family member were injured in the accident, the first coverage to respond is PIP, which will provide reimbursement for medical bills and lost wages up to a typical coverage amount of $ 10,000. (other options are available). Medical payments would reimburse medical expenses up to the purchased limit of coverage (typically- $ 5,000). You would then be able to submit claims to your Health Insurance carrier for medical bills ONLY.  You would want to let your Health carrier know about the accident immediately so that they could co ordinate benefits going forward.  So, yes your medical insurance will respond if you were injured in an auto accident……..However, medical bills are only a part of the TOTAL COSTS of being injured. The following is a list of costs actually incurred by a real person, who we will call Bill.

Bill has Liability Limits of $ 50,000/$100,000., Basic PIP ($10,000.), Medical Payments ($5,000.) and UM of $ 50,000./$ 100,000. As a result of an accident the following expenses and losses were incurred by Bill.

  • $75,000 for prior medical bills.
  • $175,000 for future medical bills.
  • $20,000 for prior lost wages.
  • $300,000 for future lost wages.
  • $1,000 for a wheelchair since Bill is unable to walk now.
  • $10,000 for future wheelchairs.
  • $30,000 for a special van to transport Bill and his wheel chair.
  • $90,000 for future vans.
  • $20,000 to retrofit the house to accommodate the wheel chair.
  • $25,000 for a yard service for Bill’s remaining life expectancy, since he is unable to cut the yard now.
  • $100,000 for future pain and suffering.
  • $100,000 for the loss of “family comfort” with his wife.
  • $100,000 for the loss of the ability to coach youth softball.
  • $200,000 for future loss of the enjoyment of life.

Bill is able to collect $ 65,000. from his auto carrier.  So…..what choices does Bill now have. If he were not at fault in the accident, and did not purchase Uninsured Motorist coverage at adequate coverage limits, he will have to hire a lawyer, wait…..and share any recovery with the attorney. BUT…..what if he had purchased Liability Limits and Stacked UM coverage of $250k/$500k and he owned three cars with the same coverage?   He would have $ 750,000 of Bodily Injury Liability Coverage available to pay his claim for damages. All of the items noted above could be paid by his carrier.

The PROBLEM…….Remember, In Florida, a driver is not required to have or prove any auto insurance coverage in order to receive a driver’s license.  Second, a driver in Florida is only required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP-No Fault) and Property Damage Liability coverage to register a vehicle.  He is not required to purchase or carry Bodily Injury Liability coverage until after he causes a serious loss.

So, Let’s read that again……Florida Law does not require Bodily Injury Liability coverage on your vehicle until after you are at fault in an accident. This is why Uninsured Motorist Coverage exists…….It is estimated that about 24% of the vehicles and drivers on Florida’s roads are Uninsured, about 1 in 4.  

Protect your family, always purchase Uninsured Motorist at the same limits as your Bodily Injury limits….Always purchase Stacked UM limits…the cost is small, but the potential benefit is huge.  

Call SWFL Insurance Agency, Inc. for a complete review of your Personal Auto policy and a No Obligation premium proposal.

239-265-9577     www.SWFLAgency.com