Understanding Florida car insurance laws is crucial if you have recently moved to the Florida area or simply aren’t familiar with the state’s laws regarding car insurance. This guide will give you a brief yet detailed explanation of the various Florida car insurance laws and policies of The Sunshine State. Let’s take a look at these nine questions often asked by licensed Florida drivers.
What Is the Minimum Coverage Required for Auto Insurance in Florida?
According to Florida car insurance laws, vehicle owners are required to have a minimum amount of insurance coverage for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage/Liability (PDL). PIP insurance pays for up to 80 percent of medical expenses that are a result of a car accident or vehicle injury, regardless of who was responsible for the accident. PDL insurance covers any damage inflicted on another person’s property that was caused by the individual driving your vehicle. The minimum amount required by Florida law is $10,000 for PIP insurance and $10,000 for PDL insurance.
While you are only required to carry the minimum coverage listed above, according to The Zebra, those figures may not be enough to cover the full cost of an accident. For example, if you caused an accident that resulted in $20,000 in medical bills for the other driver, your $10,000 insurance policy would only cover half of those expenses.
Is Florida a No-Fault State?
There are only 12 states that have no-fault car insurance laws, and Florida is one of them. In a no-fault state like Florida, drivers are required to hold both PDL and PIP insurance, whereas at-fault states do not require their drivers to carry PIP coverage.
What Exactly Is Personal Injury Protection?
Personal Injury Protection, also known as PIP, is auto insurance coverage that pays for your personal medical expenses up to the limit described by the PIP policy. Remember, this insurance covers your medical costs regardless of who caused the accident. If your medical costs exceed the amount of insurance coverage you hold, you do have the option to sue for damages. The same is true for the other person involved in the car accident if their expenses are more than their insurance coverage. It may be a good idea to carry coverage beyond the $10,000 minimum required in the event this should ever happen to you.
What Additional Auto Insurance Coverage Options Are Available in Florida?
Lorenzo and Lorenzo recommends looking into optional auto insurance coverage in order to make sure you are thoroughly covered in the event of an accident or any other unfortunate circumstance.
- Collision Insurance: Collision insurance pays for any repairs to your vehicle following an accident. Most insurance companies in Florida offer collision insurance.
- Comprehensive Insurance: A standard auto insurance coverage, comprehensive insurance will cover any repairs that result from non-accident events, such as theft, vandalism, falling objects, or severe weather.
- Roadside Assistance: Roadside assistance pays for car repairs when your vehicle breaks down due to engine failure, a flat tire, or an empty gas tank. It covers items such as towing, gas delivery, battery services, and tire changes.
- Bodily Injury Liability: This specific insurance protection pays for the medical costs for anyone who was injured due to an accident you caused.
- Gap Insurance: If you lease or finance your vehicle and end up in a car accident that damages your car beyond repair, gap insurance will cover the difference between the value of the car and the remaining balance on the loan.
- Medical Payments: Medical payment coverage will pay for the medical expenses of you and any other passengers in the vehicle at the time of the car accident.
Do Florida’s Required Minimum Limits Provide Enough Coverage?
If you experienced injuries from a car accident and medical bills incurred from those injuries are more than what your PIP policy covers, you may file a claim for compensation. As the victim, you do have the right to sue to cover some or all of the cost of those expenses.
What Is Property Damage Liability?
Property damage liability insurance covers damages that you cause to another person’s property during a car crash, such as cars, bicycles, fences, or any other structure. If the victim decides to sue in order to cover these damages, your insurance company will provide you with legal representation.
What Are the Car Insurance Laws in Florida?
The Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles website clearly explains the various Florida car insurance laws:
- Florida licensed drivers are required to purchase car insurance from a licensed insurance company located in Florida.
- You must carry uninterrupted insurance coverage while the vehicle is registered to you.
- If you choose to move out-of-state, you are required to turn in your vehicle’s license plate and registration before you cancel the policy.
What Is the Liability Coverage in Florida?
In the event you cause an accident, liability insurance coverage will only cover the injured victims and their vehicle or property. Unfortunately, liability coverage does not pay for your injuries or damage done to your vehicle. The at-fault driver is responsible to pay for any vehicle or property damages above what the liability insurance covers.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Florida?
According to BankRate, Florida car insurance laws do not allow you to drive without the required minimum auto insurance coverage. If you do not carry the required coverage, you can have your driver’s license and license plates suspended for up to three years. You may also be required to pay a reinstatement fee up to $500.
Any Florida driver who cannot provide proof of insurance, such as an insurance card or documentation of coverage, when requested by a law enforcement officer will also suffer the same consequences listed above. Once your license is suspended, you may have to purchase what’s called FR-22 insurance in order to get your license back. FR-22 insurance is coverage that proves you do, in fact, have the minimum insurance coverage required by the state of Florida.
When deciding what kind of vehicle insurance to hold in Florida, remember that there is a minimum amount of coverage every single driver in Florida is required to maintain. Any other insurance options like collision insurance or roadside assistance are completely optional. Be sure to speak with a licensed vehicle insurance provider, as they are very familiar with Florida car insurance laws and can help you choose the insurance coverage that is right for you.
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