I am forced to have uncomfortable conversations regularly with clients and potential clients wherein I inform them that the party that caused their car accident does not have insurance, and that as a result, their chances of making a recovery for their damages is slim to none. An Insurance Research Council study, Uninsured Motorists, 2017 Edition, examined data collected from 14 insurers representing approximately 60 percent of the private passenger auto insurance market in 2015. The result was that Florida led the nation in uninsured drivers with 26.7%!
Collision coverage is the type of coverage that you purchase to protect your own car from property damage resulting from an accident, regardless of who is at fault. When another party is responsible for damaging your vehicle that party is supposed to address your damages. In fact, Florida requires that every driver on the road carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and at least $10,000 in Property Damage (PD) coverage. Property Damage coverage protects you in that it covers damage that you cause to the property of another. Due to Florida’s requirement that everyone carry PD coverage, many people with older vehicles that are owned outright (no financing) choose to remove collision from their policy in an effort to save money. Many people feel that they are safe drivers and will “self-insure” against damage they cause and hold someone else responsible should that person be at fault. This sounds like a great way to save money… in theory. In reality, it is a mistake that costs Florida drivers untold sums of money every year.
If a person hits your vehicle and they do not have any insurance coverage, your only remedy is to sue that person individually and obtain a judgment against them. A judgment is essentially just a piece of paper that says what you’re entitled to. Next comes executing that judgment and actually trying to collect money. This is where it gets ugly. This process can take many months and you could easily end up spending more than the cost of the repairs to your car in legal fees and costs alone. You might find yourself in a situation where your car is totaled and you are not in a position to purchase another vehicle.
The best way to avoid this unfortunate circumstance from happening to you is to always carry collision coverage on your car insurance. In the event you’re hit by someone with no coverage, or inadequate coverage (remember only $10k is required), you will always have a way to get your vehicle fixed or replaced. There are other less-direct benefits as well. For example, if you’re involved in an accident with disputed liability and you do not carry collision coverage, you will be left on your own to fight an insurance company. However, if you do have collision coverage then your own insurance will use its resources to your benefit to fight the other side to push the decision in your favor. In addition, the outcome of the liability decision can also be used in your favor during negotiation of an injury claim.
As you can see, driving without collision coverage is the functional equivalent of gambling. Every time you hop in your car, you are betting that someone without insurance is not going to hit you. I can promise you that you do not want to lose that bet! Call Freeman Injury Law for a free insurance policy review. We can help you understand the coverages you need and if you find yourself involved in an auto accident, we can get you the results you need. Call today for a free consultation at (800) 561-7777
Freeman Injury Law, P.A.