How much car insurance are you legally required to have when driving in the state of Florida?
Insurance laws can be confusing since they change by state. So we’ll start off with a simple question and a straightforward answer:
Is car insurance in Florida required?
Absolutely. In fact, having some level of car insurance is the law in every state except two (Virginia and New Hampshire). In Florida, you must carry proof of insurance with you whenever you drive and it must be current. In the event that you’re pulled over or in a car accident, you will be asked by law enforcement to show this proof. Registration of any new vehicle also requires that you have proof of Florida coverage.
In Florida, it’s common to see all types of vehicles. Many Floridians live on or near the beachfront, so residents regularly drive on and off the road with non-traditional “vehicles” such as water bikes, golf carts, go karts, and so forth. While these types of vehicles do not need insurance, the state of Florida requires that every standard 4-wheeled vehicle maintain the minimum level of Florida auto insurance coverage.
Minimum Insurance Requirements in Florida
Auto insurance is like an umbrella that you need, but you hope you never have to use. Regardless, it’s important that Florida drivers know the mandatory insurance requirements that apply statewide. The minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage are:
- $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP)
- $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL)
Disclaimer for Bodily Injury Liability
Although the state of Florida does not require you to carry bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance, many experts consider it wise to add this coverage. This protects you if you have a car accident in which people are injured or killed due to your negligence.
Even though Florida is a no-fault state, an injured party could still sue you for damages if they’re extensive or they go beyond what your minimum insurance requirements cover. Otherwise, you could end up paying for damages out-of-pocket.
What Does “No-Fault” Liability Mean?
There are currently twelve states that operate under “no-fault” liability, of which Florida is one. Being a no-fault state means that each person pays for their own accident expenses — no matter whose fault it is. This is insurance law. However, remember that if an accident causes someone more damage or injuries than your insurance policy covers, they have a right to sue you for damages.
In these cases, you would be required to pay for extra damages if the court ruled that you acted negligently, or if you caused injury that created medical conditions or expenses that were the result of negligence.
In other words, while insurance laws in Florida only require property liability and personal injury protection, it’s always a good idea to carry more coverage than the minimum requirement. That way, you will have the extra protection if you’re sued for auto accident damages.
What is PIP?
You may wonder what PIP (personal injury protection) does for you as a Florida motorist? PIP insurance is for the purpose of covering medical expenses and other costs such as lost wages. This insurance is often called “no-fault” coverage because it covers and pays out claims on accidents regardless of who is at fault.
Additionally, PIP is for the purpose of defending yourself against minor lawsuits that require additional funds to pay for damages if you’re held responsible.
Continue reading: What is PIP Insurance and Are Florida Drivers Required to Have it?
Other Types of Optional Auto Insurance Coverage
To be safe, you may want to look into the following optional coverages in order to make sure you are covered in any situation:
- Bodily injury liability. As previously discussed, bodily injury liability covers injuries that people may receive as a result of a car accident that’s your fault. Even though Florida is a no-fault state, you could still be sued for injuries if your PIP insurance doesn’t cover it.
- Collision. Collision insurance is meant to cover any damage you receive from an accident. Remember, collision insurance isn’t covered in your minimum Florida liability or PIP coverage.
- Comprehensive. Auto theft, “acts of nature,” and other accidents outside of vehicle collisions are covered by this additional policy. In Florida, hail storms, lightning, floods, and hurricane damage claims are common under a comprehensive insurance policy.
Other types of coverage that may also be offered by your auto insurance company include roadside assistance and medical coverage (an extra policy to pay for medical expenses like hospital stays and medical treatment due to a serious accident).
If you’re a Florida driver, make sure you at least have the minimum insurance required by law. If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver, or your insurance policy is unable to sufficiently cover the expense of a car accident caused by someone else, you’ll want to get in touch with Tampa car accident attorneys at Lorenzo & Lorenzo.
We can help answer any legal questions you have and will fight for your legal rights. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.