As a car owner in Florida, you are required to purchase some minimum coverage for both the property damage liability (PDL) and personal Injury protection (PIP) Insurance. Since Florida is a no-fault state, your auto insurance provider is expected to pay your medical costs as stipulated in your policy and as per the limits whether or not you are the one that caused the accident.
The minimum limit for the motor vehicle insurance coverage is as follows
- $10,000 minimum limit for the property damage insurance (PDL)
- $10,000 minimum personal injury protection (PIP)
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Your PIP insurance provider takes care of your medical costs and loss of income that results from the accident. In addition, the insurance company covers other areas as described below
- The members of your household including your child
- Your children if they have an accident when on the school bus
- You, even in the cases where you are riding a bicycle or walking on the pavement
- Passenger who you may have given a ride in your vehicle and neither own a car nor have a PIP insurance policy
Every party to the accident will be covered by his or her PIP insurance. Likewise, if you are involved in an accident when in someone else’s car, your PIP insurance will take care of your medical bills according to the set limits.
Property Damage Liability
The PDL auto insurance covers you for the damage you may make to other people’s property such as buildings and gates, in case of an accident
What if you violate the rules?
It is a requirement by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) that your car insurance provider notifies you electronically if it cancels your insurance policy.
If the DHSMV does not have the details of your current car insurance cover, the department will notify you using mail. You will be given a date of suspension by which you should have furnished the DHSMV with the details of your insurance policy. If you do not comply with the order before the suspension date, DHSMV will suspend your driver’s license, registration, and the plates.
If you would like to reinstate all the above after the suspension date, you will be required to provide proof of insurance and pay a fine as detailed below
- $150 for the first offense
- $250 for the second offense
- $500 for any other offense after the three
These penalties are waived if you can provide proof of insurance before the set date of suspension. If you ceased to be the owner of the car whose insurance cover details the DHSMV needs, surrender the car’s registration and the plates so that you FL driving license is not suspended.
Additional car insurance cover that you may take
The above are the minimum auto requirements for you to drive in Florida. However, you can purchase high coverage amounts to cover other areas or higher values on injury or property damage. Your minimum auto insurance provider may also offer the optional coverage below at a higher premium
- Collision coverage: Takes care of the accident-related damages to your vehicle. It covers the cost of repair.
- Comprehensive insurance: This cover takes care of non-accident related damages to the vehicle such as vandalism, or theft of parts.
- Rental car coverage: Covers taxis and rental vehicles
- Underinsured/ uninsured motorist: The policy covers you once you are involved in incidences with uninsured or underinsured drivers
- Towing and labor insurance
If you are financing your car, the lender will require you to have both collision and comprehensive covers. Florida law does not require the policies.
Liability for body injury
The no-fault law on auto insurance was put in place to cover Florida drivers from getting sued after an accident. However, there are cases when you can be sued. Such is common in cases where one or many of the victims have severe injuries or the accident caused fatalities. Luckily, you can pick the Bodily injury liability car insurance policy. If you are involved in an accident, found responsible and are in possession of the cover, it will pay for the injuries the victims sustained in the accident up to the set limit. It can also help you cover the legal costs if any of the victims decides to sue you.
Cases where you may be forced to buy optional cover
If you have made certain violations or incidences, you may be forced to carry optional insurance cover. Such violations include
If you are required to carry SR-22 certification, you should have bodily harm liability on top of the minimum coverage
Here are the reasons for carrying SR-22 for three years
- Habitual revocation of your driver’s license
- Suspension of the driver’s licenses due to violating several traffic points
- Involvement in a car accident that causes property damage and injuries
If caught while driving under the influence of drugs and substances, you will be required to buy an additional cover and fill form FR-44 as proof. The cover includes bodily injury liability and property damage liability. The FR-44 certificate is needed if a DUI driver did not have the amounts of coverage at the time of the accident
- $50,000 to cover property damage
- $300,000 to cover all injuries of people in the accident
- $100,000 for injuries caused to any victim