Florida Car Insurance Laws
Auto insurance requirements in Florida
Florida law requires that all drivers must carry certain amounts of car insurance coverage. However, as a no-fault state, the requirements for Florida drivers are quite different than in many states. Bodily injury liability coverage is one such requirement; a mandatory coverage in most states, Florida car insurance laws do not require it, instead relying on personal injury protection (PIP) to cover injuries.
Below you’ll find the minimum car insurance requirements for the state of Florida. Keep in mind that those who finance or lease a car could face additional requirements from a lender or leasing company.
What about bodily injury coverage?
Florida is a no-fault state. This means your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provides coverage up to policy limits, regardless of who is at fault. Unlike most states, residents of Florida are not required to have bodily injury liability, as PIP coverage handles relevant medical costs. However, PIP insurance does not cover pain and suffering, which must be sought through the legal system.
|Property Damage Liability (PDL)||Personal Injury Protection (PIP)|
Liability coverage in Florida
If you cause an accident, liability insurance covers those injured or who suffer damages. Liability insurance never covers your injuries or damages to your property. It pays the other driver only. Property damage liability will cover the cost of any damage caused to another vehicle by you. The at-fault driver is still responsible for paying for property damage caused, though the $10,000 limit is quite low. As such, it’s a good idea to increase these limits to avoid being at risk.
What are Florida's state-mandated car insurance limits?
Nearly all states require a minimum amount of insurance to be legally allowed to drive on the roads. The limit is simply the lowest amount of coverage that you can carry and still be legal. These limits can be increased for a relatively low addition to your premium. The state of Florida requires every driver to maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance in the $10,000 listed previously.
Florida is a diminished value state
Florida is a diminished value state, meaning drivers are allowed to recover diminished value from the at-fault party’s insurance company. When your vehicle experiences an accident, even if it is fully repaired to its pre-loss condition, the resale value decreases. The involvement in a collision makes your car’s value lesser than similar vehicles that have not experienced an accident. A diminished value claim allows you to recoup the losses you might experience when selling your car.
Since Florida is one of the 15 states that offer compensation for diminution in value, you may file by contacting the at-fault party’s insurer. In order to file a diminished value claim in Florida, certain requirements must be met.
FL diminished value claim requirements:
- You must be not at fault for the accident
- You must provide documentation (photos, repairs record, and proof of vehicle value from a trusted source)
- You must file within 4 years of the accident
Florida's penalties for driving without proof of insurance
Drivers who operate a motor vehicle without the proper auto insurance coverage can face steep penalties, including the loss of your driving privileges. Penalties for failure to show proof of insurance in Florida are as follows.
|Reinstatement fee||Other Penalties|
|1st offense||$150||Driver’s license and registration suspended for up to three years.|
|2nd offense||$250||Driver’s license and registration suspended for up to three years.|
|3rd offense||$500||Driver’s license and registration suspended for up to three years.|
Of course, if you cause an accident without insurance, the penalties above can pale in comparison to the amounts you’ll be required to pay.
Optional car insurance coverage in Florida
Florida law only requires that you carry coverage in the amounts listed above. However, the following coverages are great add-ons to your insurance policy if you are looking for more coverage:
- Bodily injury liability: This coverage goes toward covering the medical expenses of those injured as a result of an accident you caused. Required in most states, adding this coverage can be a good idea in Florida due to the low amounts of PIP coverage required by the state.
- Collision: This coverage steps in to cover your vehicle if you are involved in a collision with another driver or object (aside from animals).
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive insurance protects your vehicle against non-collision damages. This includes perils like theft, weather damage, and hitting an animal. Comprehensive and collision coverage — when purchased together — are typically referred to as “full coverage.” These coverages may be required by some lenders or lien-holders if you are financing your vehicle.
- Medical payments: This coverage goes toward paying the medical bills and expenses of you and your passengers in the event of a car accident.
- Roadside assistance: If you find yourself broken down, this coverage steps in to help. The particulars of the coverage differ with each company, but you can typically expect roadside assistance to fix a flat tire, jump a dead battery, and cover the cost of a tow to a nearby garage, among other perks.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: As the name implies, this coverage protects you in the event you are hit by a motorist who does not carry insurance — or doesn’t carry enough.
CARCO inspections are required in Florida
Required in only a few states, CARCO is an independent inspection that verifies the existence of your vehicle along with its options, accessories, mileage, and physical condition. A report is then produced and sent to your car insurance company. The state of Florida mandates that vehicles must have such an inspection in order to have certain insurance coverages such as comprehensive and collision . The inspection usually takes no longer than 15 minutes.
No, these inspections do not require a fee.
In Florida, you are required to bring your vehicle registration and must provide the name of your insurer. Any relevant insurance documents are welcomed, but not required.
You’ll have to find a location near you and set up an appointment. Follow this link to find a location in your area.
Why adhering to Florida's car insurance requirements is important
Alaska insurance laws are in place to protect you, your assets, and other drivers. Adhering to these requirements keeps you legal and can give you the peace of mind that you won’t be held personally liable for damages or injuries that you might cause. Of course, it’s always a good idea to increase your coverage limits to an amount you can afford and to add extra coverage that can cover your own vehicle. The best way to find affordable coverage is to compare insurance quotes from different companies. The Zebra can help you find quotes from a number of top insurers so that you can find a policy to fit your needs.
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