Auto insurance is the best way to protect yourself from potentially drastic financial burdens in the wake of an accident. The laws in the state of Florida mandate all vehicles registered in the state to carry an insurance policy with certain coverages to operate within the state. If you do not have car insurance, you could be subject to fees and the suspension of your vehicle or driving license.
Florida’s laws also have some differences from other states in the country. Make certain you know what coverage you are required to have, and what is optional but may protect you in case of an accident. If you do not comply with Florida’s insurance laws, you could lose your registration, or your license, for up to three years. You can also be fined up to $500.
The Basics of Florida Auto Insurance Laws
Before you can register a vehicle that has at least four wheels in Florida, you need to show proof you have insured it with both Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability coverage. What do these types of insurance cover?
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers you and your passengers’ medical bills and lost wages whether or not you are at fault for an accident. It also covers anyone who drives your car with your consent, and even covers you or your family in certain other situations. This can include injuries sustained while crossing a street or riding a bicycle, or injuries while your child is riding a school bus.
- Property Damage Liability covers damage to other people’s property, such as their vehicles, fences, or bicycles if you are at fault in an accident.
PIP covers 80 percent of necessary and reasonable medical expenses, up to your policy limit. You must have a minimum of $10,000 PIP insurance. Property Damage Liability, or PDL, must also have $10,000 of coverage. These requirements change for vehicles registered as taxis. You may wish to consult with an insurance agent or attorney to ensure you comply with the coverage requirements for taxis or ride sharing vehicles.
All required insurance types must be acquired from an insurance agent or company that has a license to sell insurance in Florida. Other requirements for residents include:
- Continuous coverage even if the vehicle is inoperable, or not in use. If the vehicle will be out of commission for a long time, or will never drive again, you should surrender the tags before you cancel your insurance.
- You must maintain coverage for the entire registration period of the vehicle, no matter where it is. This includes other states! Military personnel may be able to receive an exemption.
- Even though Uninsured Motorist is not required in Florida, we highly recommend carrying this important coverage because many other drivers in Florida do not carry the required coverage. If you are hit by an uninsured driver, your Uninsured Motorist coverage will compensate you. Talk to your agent about this coverage.
Out-of-State Insurance and Insurance for Non-Residents
What if you are not a resident of Florida, but do business here? You must still comply with the state’s insurance laws. If you have a job in Florida, or you enroll your children in a Florida school, you must have a Florida registration and insurance. These must be acquired within ten days.
If you move out of state, do not cancel your Florida insurance until your vehicle is registered in your new state. Then you can surrender the tags and plates for your Florida registration.
Hit by an Uninsured Driver? Steven A. Bagen & Associates Can Help!
If you have been hurt in an accident with an uninsured driver, or have other concerns about a personal injury case, Steven A. Bagen & Associates has the knowledge and experience to help you receive the settlement you need. Contact us today!