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INFORMING THE UM CARRIER OF SETTLEMENT

In many instances, the injured party of a car accident will ask whether their carrier of uninsured motorist coverage needs to be advised of an offer settlement from the defendant or at fault party. The answer, in short, is yes.

Under Florida law, the injured party is required to submit written notice of the proposed settlement to all carriers which may provide uninsured motorist coverage. If the uninsured carrier authorizes settlement with the third party or fails to respond within 30 days, the injured person may execute a release and finalize the settlement. If the UM carrier is not advised however, it may jeopardize any further UM claim that the injured party may be able to bring.

While the notice provision of Florida law is designed to provide uninsured carriers, the right to enforce their subrogation rights it can have a significant impact on the injured party if not followed. In many instances, the defendant or at fault party’s insurance coverage is not enough to pay all of the damages suffered by the injured party, thus losing the ability to receive UM coverage leaves the injured party with no recourse.

In cases where the UM carrier refuses permission to settle with the defendant, the carrier must, within 30 days, pay to the insured party the amount of the written offer from the third-party’s liability carrier. This payment then reserves the UM carrier’s right of subrogation.

Given the complexity of the Florida statutes it is always recommended that the injured party consult with an attorney to ensure their personal injury rights or further coverages are not waived.

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