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Every driver in Florida – including residents who are only seasonal – must carry minimum required amounts of car insurance. Any vehicle with a current Florida registration must be properly insured under the state’s insurance laws. Driving without insurance is against the law and can come with fines and other penalties. It is also important to understand how Florida’s car insurance laws work if you get into an automobile accident.
Is Florida a Fault or No-Fault Car Accident State?
Florida is one of only a handful of states in the U.S. that uses a no-fault car insurance system. With a no-fault car accident law, every driver involved in a collision will seek benefits from his or her own car insurance provider, regardless of who caused the crash. In a fault-based car insurance state, on the other hand, the driver at fault for causing the collision is financially responsible for the medical bills and property repairs of all involved parties.
Under Florida’s no-fault law, all drivers must carry a first-party form of car insurance known as personal injury protection (PIP). After a car accident, a driver with medical costs will file a claim with his or her own car insurance company to seek financial benefits for these losses. An insurance company will offer first-party PIP coverage without requiring proof or evidence of fault. However, the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay to repair the other driver’s property damage.
There is an exception to Florida’s no-fault rule if the accident causes severe, catastrophic, permanent or fatal injuries. If an accident reaches Florida’s serious injury threshold, the injured victim can sue the at-fault driver outside of the no-fault system as a tort exemption. Florida’s no-fault law also does not apply to motorcyclists.
What Are Florida’s Car Insurance Requirements?
Currently, Florida only requires drivers to carry two types of car insurance. Unlike most other states, bodily injury liability insurance is not one of the required types. This coverage pays for injury or death to others, including medical expenses and lost wages. This coverage is not required in Florida since it is a no-fault state. All drivers in Florida must carry the following types of insurance instead:
- Property damage liability insurance: at least $10,000. Pays for any and all damage to other people’s property in a car accident.
- Personal injury protection insurance: at least $10,000. Pays for your own injuries and medical bills, whether or not you are at fault for the car accident.
These are only the minimum required amounts of each type of insurance in Florida – they do not express how much is available if a driver wants to purchase higher coverage limits. This may be a good idea if you want added protection in the event of a car accident, such as coverage for the full value of your vehicle. The required amounts of insurance are also different for cars registered as taxis or commercial vehicles.
Optional Types of Insurance in Florida
Drivers in Florida have the option of purchasing additional types of car insurance on top of the minimum requirements. Bodily injury liability insurance, for example, can save you from having to pay out of pocket if you cause an accident in which people are injured or killed. If you wish to purchase coverage that will pay for your own vehicle’s damage after a car accident, regardless of fault, buy collision insurance. Comprehensive insurance can cover your vehicle if it is damaged or destroyed in an act of nature, such as a hurricane or flood, as well as damage caused by auto theft or vandalism.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Florida?
Driving a motor vehicle without the required amounts of insurance in Florida can result in a ticket, fine, and the suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration until you can show proof of insurance. You may also have to pay a reinstatement fee of up to $500. If your negligence or recklessness causes a car accident while you don’t have insurance, you will be responsible for paying for the medical bills and property damage involved out of your own pocket.