A recent study ranked Florida dead last – 51st among all the states plus Washington D.C. – in a ranking of how risky each state is “for drivers’ wallets” after they are involved in a car accident.
The study by WalletHub weighed the percentage of underinsured drivers in each state along with auto liability insurance minimums and other auto insurance requirements to determine how the average driver might fare after being in a crash.
According to WalletHub, Florida earned a “worst” ranking because an estimated 23.8 percent of the state’s drivers are uninsured (according to the Insurance Research Council) and because our state’s liability insurance minimums are the nation’s lowest at:
- $10,000 bodily injury per person
- $20,000 bodily injury per accident
- $10,000 property damage per accident.
The state does gain a few points – although not enough to move the needle – by requiring a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance for all drivers. That type of coverage is not required in all states.
“Florida has the worst combination of lots of uninsured drivers and low minimum requirements for drivers who do have insurance,” Karl Eisenhower, WalletHub’s managing editor, told the South Florida Business Journal.
If you are involved in a serious auto accident in Florida, Eisenhower said, “there’s a better-than-average chance the at-fault driver will either have insufficient insurance or no insurance at all, potentially leaving you holding the bag.”
It should be noted that WalletHub asked a panel of five insurance, risk management and legal pundits whether higher liability minimums translates to more drivers having liability coverage. It does not, according to the panel. In fact, because higher liability minimums may require higher premium payments, it may lead to more people failing to have insurance, the panel noted.
Protect Your Rights after an Auto Accident
People cause car accidents because they are careless or reckless and engage in dangerous behavior like speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving or drowsy driving.
You can’t stop another driver from being negligent. However, what you can and should do after an accident is protect your rights.
It starts by working with an attorney.
A lawyer will investigate your case and thoroughly review all types of insurance coverage that are available to compensate you for your medical expenses, vehicle damage, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses. This may involve turning to your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as well as the other driver’s liability coverage.
If a driver who causes your crash lacks insurance coverage, you may be able to turn to your own uninsured motorist (UM) policy.
Keep in mind that insurance companies will try to pay the lowest amount possible in a claim. An attorney will take on the insurance company for you and work hard to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your losses.
If you would like to learn more about insurance issues that can arise in a car accident case, contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A. We are available to provide a free consultation about your case.