Okay, so maybe I’m the only lunatic who thinks about insurance around the holidays. And maybe that’s why my Wheaten Terrier has a cozy spot in our king-sized bed and I have a nice view of the house from the Pet-mate Indigo Doggie Igloo. But seriously, after serving as legal counsel to accident victims for close to 20 years, I see the same sad story year after year – a client is seriously injured in an accident but the person responsible has little or no insurance. To add insult to injury, accident cases (especially ones involving uninsured drivers) seem to pile up around the holidays. Merry Ho Ho Christmas from the people who brought you Murphy’s Law.
So besides staying safe, what else can you do to cover yourself this winter? One thought that’s often overlooked is to check that you have uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage. UM Coverage is often also called “Underinsured Motorist” coverage because it will also protect you if the at-fault driver has insurance but not enough to cover your loss (or has no insurance at all). Put simply, this optional policy kicks in to pay the difference between the amount of your claim and the amount you recovered from the at-fault party (at least up to the limits of your policy). Have more than one car? Consider “stacking” your UM coverage – which is an option that allows you to add together the value of your stacked policies to give you more coverage for less money. Believe me, more than a few clients have thanked their lucky stars for this extra coverage as sometimes it’s the only recovery available.
So remember, think about making sure that your family has the right insurance coverage in place this holiday month and then stop at the jeweler on the way home from the insurance agency. Everyone but the dog will be glad that you did.
Russel Lazega is an attorney and author of two of Florida’s most widely distributed legal textbooks on Florida Insurance Law. He also represents accident victims and consumers at war with their insurance companies and is based in North Miami, Dania Beach, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Questions? Contact: Russ@fladvocates.com.