By Attorney Kelli Martinez

“No coverage?! How do they have a driver’s license if they are driving without insurance?!”

Florida has the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the United States. Approximately 26.7%, or about one in four vehicles on Florida roads are completely uninsured. And while driving without any insurance carries serious criminal penalties, these consequences do not provide compensation for injury victims.

But not only are many drivers uninsured, most Florida drivers are legally underinsured.

“Full-coverage” is one of the most common misconceptions in the auto insurance industry, and it can be even more deceptive under Florida law. There are five types of auto insurance coverage that may be mandated by a state. Every state requires Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (BI) – except Florida.

In order to register a vehicle with more than four wheels in Florida, drivers must show proof of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL). PIP covers 80% of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000.00. The other 20% and anything above $10,000.00 typically falls on the insured – and the insurance companies often dispute what bills are “necessary and reasonable.” The required PDL is only $10,000.00.

In other words, to be fully covered to drive in Florida, a driver needs $10,000.00 in PIP to cover themselves, and only $10,000.00 to cover all potential property damage they may cause in an accident. Because, bodily injury coverage is elective, the at-fault driver’s policy will not cover the cost of your injuries if you are an injured victim of a car crash with an at-fault driver carrying minimum insurance coverage.

Some drivers elect to purchase Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (BI), but do not realize that these benefits will only cover the other person in the event the insured driver causes an accident. A driver’s Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (BI) coverage will not pay for the insured driver’s own medical expenses.

You need to protect yourself with UM! If you are driving without Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage in Florida, you are not fully covered!
Most reputable auto insurance companies sell this extra coverage that takes the place of the uninsured at-fault driver and pays for your injuries and property damage that would otherwise be owed to you by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Many times, the added cost is minimal, and in a state with so many uninsured drivers, it’s certainly worth consideration.

Questions about your Florida automobile insurance coverage? Call us at (941) 748-5599 or e-mail us at