Florida Car Insurance Laws

What are the required car insurance coverages in Florida? Consult our guide to Florida's minimum auto insurance requirements.

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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.

Property Damage Liability (PDL)
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
$10,000
$10,000

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What is personal injury protection?

Florida is a no-fault state. No-fault law means that, regardless of who is at fault, your own personal injury protection insurance will step in to provide coverage up to the policy limits. Unlike most other states, residents of Florida are not required to have bodily injury liability. Bodily injury liability typically covers the medical expenses of those injured in an accident caused by you. Instead, the PIP coverage kicks in to cover medical costs. Note that PIP insurance will not cover you for pain and suffering and that you would have to seek a reward for such damages through the legal system.

 

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 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 amount listed above.

 

Do Florida’s required minimums provide enough coverage?

Florida’s car insurance minimums are quite low. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that drivers obtain coverage above the state-mandated limits. Low minimum coverage limits may not adequately cover most costs. This can leave you at risk of having to cover the remainder of these expenses out of pocket.

Drivers may also file a claim for compensation for any injuries that exceed the cost of their own PIP policy. If the at-fault driver causes injuries over a certain amount, it’s possible for the victim to sue. Without bodily injury liability, you could be on the line for damages.

This can be the case if you cause an accident in Florida resulting in the permanent injury of another driver. According to the Florida legislature, you can be sued if you cause one of the following situations:

  • Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
  • Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement
  • Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Death

Also, a $10,000 limit for personal property liability won’t go far if you were to damage a high-value car. The most that your insurance will pay out for property damage for any single accident is $10,000. $10,000 wouldn’t even cover half the cost of the average new vehicle. For this reason, it’s highly encouraged that all drivers carry higher amounts of property damage liability insurance.

 

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. 

CollisionThis 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 assistanceIf 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 coverageAs 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. 

 

What is a CARCO inspection? 

Required in only a few states, this 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 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. 

 

Do I have to pay for a CARCO inspection?

No, these inspections do not require a fee. 

 

What paperwork is required? 

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. 

 

Where do I go for a CARCO inspection?

You’ll have to find a location near you and set up an appointment. Follow this link to find a location in your area. 

 

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 offers 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:

  • You are not entitled to compensation if you were the party at fault in the accident
  • Documentation will be required to process your claim. Make sure you can provide photos, records of repairs made, and proof of the value of your vehicle by a trusted source. 
  • In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a diminished value claim is 4 years. 
  • Florida does not have uninsured motorist coverage for diminished value claims.

 

Why adhering to Florida’s car insurance requirements is important

After an accident, the parties involved must present proof of insurance to the responding authorities. If you fail to maintain active PIP insurance and property damage liability insurance on your vehicle, you will be charged with a nonmoving traffic infraction and have your license suspended. Also, if you knowingly provide a law enforcement officer with insurance information that is expired, this is considered a first-degree misdemeanor resulting in fines and possible jail time. If proof of insurance is provided within 24 hours of the car accident, a citation for failure to provide proof of insurance may be voided.

Car insurance laws are in place to keep you and others protected. For this reason, make sure that you have the Florida auto insurance policy that’s right for you and your family members. Think about the benefits that an optional coverage option could bring. To find the best auto insurance rates in Florida, start by getting free quotes from The Zebra.

Find an affordable policy today.

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Ross Martin
Ross MartinManager, Content Quality

As a licensed insurance agent, Ross researches and writes insurance content intended to help users make informed decisions.

Ross's background is in writing and education. He holds a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Ross's work has been cited by The New York Times, Investopedia, The Simple DollarThe BalanceCar and Driver and Fox Business. He has been quoted by CNET, I Drive Safely and Kin Insurance

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