It happens all the time in South Florida: two vehicles crash into each other, and the driver responsible doesn’t have collision insurance. Or they have a cheap policy that won’t come close to covering the other motorist’s medical bills, lost wages or auto repair costs. If you are hit by an uninsured (or underinsured) driver and suffer a serious injury, you might not get any compensation from them.

This is why most auto insurance companies offer uninsured motorist (UM) insurance and underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance. Many states require drivers to carry UM/UIM insurance, though Florida is not one of them. But buying this type of insurance is wise. Having this coverage on top of your regular collision insurance can protect you if someone crashes into you but lacks the necessary insurance to give you compensation.

Instead of making a claim on the negligent driver’s nonexistent policy, you bring a claim on your own UM/UIM insurance. Thus, you will deal with an adjuster from your own auto insurance company.

Not an automatic approval

However, just because you are a client does not mean you should expect a quick and easy claims process. The big insurance companies did not get as huge and profitable as they are by treating their customers fairly. In fact, the process of providing evidence, waiting for the adjuster’s decision and getting a possibly lowball claim may feel like you are making a claim on someone else’s policy.

Still, this is usually the better option. In theory, you can sue the driver directly, but if they can’t afford insurance, they probably lack the personal wealth to compensate you for your medical treatments, lost wages, pain and suffering and so on. And you can work with a personal injury lawyer to help stand up for your rights.