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One of the things we find repeatedly asked by folks that come to see us after an automobile accident is, “How does insurance work in Florida?” And we find again and again that people who have responsible jobs, responsible positions, still don’t quite understand automobile insurance. It’s something important for people to understand before an accident. And specifically, uninsured motorist is something that is an optional-type coverage in the state of Florida that allows people to protect themselves after an accident.

Florida’s automobile insurance law is unique in a number of different ways. One of these areas is, you can legally drive your car in the state of Florida and have no insurance coverage to pay if you injure someone else. So, there are a number of vehicles, legally operating on the roads in Florida that have no bodily injury liability coverage. Bodily injury liability coverage is coverage to pay for you or your family if you are injured in an automobile accident.

If that happens — if you or your family is injured by a driver with no bodily injury coverage — can’t the driver be sued individually? Yes, you can sue, however, the chances of recovering on that judgment, the chances of ever collecting any money from a jury verdict is very slim in Florida because, primarily, of the bankruptcy laws that help protect people from that.

Uninsured motorist coverage is the type of coverage that you buy through your own insurance agent to protect you in the event that you, any resident relative of your household, or any passenger in your car is injured through the fault of somebody that doesn’t have any bodily injury coverage.

Because you can drive legally in Florida and not have any bodily injury coverage (also the case in Alabama), that’s why uninsured motorist coverage is so important.