“UM” stands for uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage, and it protects you if you’re injured in a car accident caused by someone who doesn’t have any, or enough, insurance of their own. If you don’t have this type of coverage on your auto policy, call your agent or go online and get it! The additional premium will be well worth it if you’re hurt in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone who is not financially responsible or collectible, or even a hit-and-run.
Imagine you’re stopped at a red light minding your own business and…wham! The driver behind you isn’t paying attention and slams into you. You are injured and need medical care beyond what your personal injury protection benefits cover (PIP is required in Florida; UM is not). You hand over your medical bills to the negligent party, but are shocked to learn that they don’t have any bodily injury insurance (also not always required in Florida). That’s because people generally get insurance to protect something, like their personal assets. With nothing to protect they’re probably not interested in paying insurance premiums if they don’t have to. Remember the old saying about getting blood from a stone?
So, how do you protect yourself from these folks (financially speaking anyway)? Get UM coverage! Then your own insurance company will “stand in the shoes” of the uninsured driver, and you will have a pot from which to collect for those medical bills (the size of the pot will vary depending on the amount of coverage you select). After all, the doctor or hospital that treated you probably isn’t concerned with who caused the accident; it’s your name on the bill and they expect payment!