The state of Florida mandates that all vehicles with four or more wheels carry auto insurance. Unlike some other states, though, the minimum level of coverage is a bit low.
Floridian drivers must carry at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This coverage helps pay for any of your medical bills arising from an automobile accident, even if you were a pedestrian or bicyclist at the time. It also covers the other members of your household and your children while they are riding on a school bus. It even covers any passengers injured in your vehicle that do not own their own car and have their own PIP protection.
Florida is a “No-Fault” state, meaning that your insurance company will pay for your PIP-related expenses, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
In addition, Floridian drivers must carry $10,000 of Property Damage Liability protection (PDL). This coverage pays up to your coverage level for any property that you destroy while operating a motor vehicle. Note that your own property will not be covered, ensuring that you cannot crash on purpose and cash a nice insurance check.
If your driver’s license has been revoked numerous times, or you are convicted of a DUI charge, you may also need to carry Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) insurance. This protection pays for the medical costs of anyone you injure in an automobile accident. The minimum is “10/20,” meaning that your insurance company will pay $10,000 per injured person, as long as the total does not exceed $20,000. You also have the option of purchasing this coverage, even if you are not required to do so by law.
Many insurance providers offer additional coverage options not mandated by law. For example, comprehensive coverage pays for any damages your car sustains unrelated to an accident, such as vandalism. Collision protection helps fix your car if it is damaged in an accident. While neither is required by law, lenders often require both if you finance your vehicle.
You can also get Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist protection to fill in the gap between what somebody else’s insurance will pay and what you need. Finally, towing and labor insurance is also available in the state.
The penalty for allowing auto insurance to lapse in the state of Florida is the suspension of your driver’s license, plates, and auto registration. You need to provide proof of insurance and pay a fine in order to have the suspension lifted. Your first offense will cost $150, the second $250, and all subsequent offenses $500 each.
If you are injured in an automobile accident in the state of Florida, it is unwise to attempt to navigate the legal process alone. There are many law firms familiar with Florida accident laws that can help you get the money you deserve.