You take care of your car. You change the oil, keep up with the maintenance, and always give it a good wash and wax. It is your mode of transportation for work and vacation.

And then you have an accident. Another driver turned in front of you. You came out of the wreck unscathed, but the car did not. You file a claim and expect to be able to get a new car. But the driver who is at fault has no insurance. Now, what do you do?

Uninsured drivers

Although driving without insurance is illegal in Florida, it is not unusual. The Insurance Research Council published a report which shows over 25% of drivers in the state do not have insurance. And Florida does not require drivers to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

But it may be a good idea to have this coverage. Florida is a no-fault state. Because of this, drivers must pay for Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability. You can use these coverages to pay for the cost involving medical visits and damage done to your car. Also, adding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage adds to the payout when the at-fault driver cannot give you the money owed to you.

Penalties

Uninsured motorists pay fines as a result of not having insurance. As a first-time offender, the penalty can include suspension of your license, plates and registration. You may need to provide the state with proof of your insurance coverage and pay a fee of $150 to reinstate. The second offense increases to $250, and the third offense is $500.

As in any motor vehicle accident, it is a good idea to be careful of what you say. You may wish to notify your insurance company to file a claim as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, pursuing damages may be necessary.