Sarasota Car Accident Lawyer, Scott Westheimer, Talks UM Coverage


As a Sarasota car accident lawyer, I frequently have clients who were injured in an auto accident where the driver was either uninsured or underinsured.

In most states, if you get into a car accident, automobile accident, or motorcycle accidentthe at- fault driver is forced by law to have mandatory insurance to protect you in case you are injured in the accident. Florida is one of two states that does not have this requirement. If you get into an accident in Florida, it is pure chance that the driver who caused the accident has adequate insurance. There is only one way to fully protect yourself in these circumstances and that is to purchase Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist coverage. Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist insurance is coverage that you can purchase through your insurance company (agent) that will in effect step into the shoes of the at-fault driver in a car accident, automobile accident, or motorcycle accident. The coverage is in essence the same as if the at fault driver had adequate insurance.

There are various types of Underinsured / Uninsured Motorist Coverage. The best coverage to purchase is the stacking coverage. The stacking vs. non stacking coverage discussion that you may have with your agent can be very confusing. However, simply put, stacking coverage protects you if you are driving someone else’s car or driving a car that is not listed on your policy, and can be multiplied by the number of cars you own that are listed on your policy. If you have $100,000 Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage stacked with three listed vehicles, you have $300,000 of coverage. I would strongly recommend that everyone make sure that your Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist coverage is stacked as it is only minimally more expensive than non-stacked coverage.

Florida insurance companies also offer umbrella coverage which covers you in case you are at fault for an accident which is over and above your normal insurance policy limits. You can also ask your insurance company to make sure this Umbrella Coverage is an Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist umbrella policy. This will add even more protection in case an at-fault driver causes an accident.

Call your insurance agent today and ensure you have enough protection for your family in case you are in a catastrophic car accident, motor vehicle accident, or motorcycle accident. Make sure your agent adds stacked Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist coverage to your policy immediately.

F. Scott Westheimer