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Florida

Florida is a no-fault state and all drivers are advised to carry the minimum liability insurance coverage. The car insurance laws in Florida are different from the insurance laws in other states. The law does not necessarily require drivers to have bodily injury liability coverage even though it is recommended. The minimum coverage requirements are lower than in other states. Drivers are advised to purchase additional insurance to ensure that they have sufficient protection. The minimum requirements are as follows;

  • Bodily injury coverage - $10, 000 per person and $20, 000 per accident
  • Personal injury protection - $10, 000
  • Property damage coverage -$10, 000 per accident
  • Uninsured motorists' coverage - $ 10, 000 per person and $20, 000 per accident

The type and amount of insurance a driver in Florida chooses depends on their needs.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) requires that all Florida drivers have auto insurance. They must be able to provide proof of insurance when asked by a police officer. Failure to provide proof of insurance may cause a driver to be fined. There are two types of insurance laws that Florida drivers must know.

The financial responsibility law

This law requires certain drivers to have with them auto insurance because of their driving history. Drivers that fall in this category may have been at fault in previous accidents leading to damage of property and injury to others. They may also be drivers who were caught driving intoxicated or whose licenses have been revoked in the past.

The Florida no-fault law

According to this law, all drivers need to carry personal injury protection. The coverage helps a driver pay for their medical charges in case of an accident. It doesn't matter whether they were at fault or not.

Even though the state does not require drivers to purchase bodily injury coverage, they often have no choice as most insurance companies won't sell a policy without this coverage option. The Financial Responsibility Law states that if a driver is at fault during an accident which leads to bodily injury or property damage they need liability coverage. Liability coverage is necessary during the following times;

  • During a crash that leads to bodily injury where a driver is at fault
  • In case of a citation for drinking under the influence which leads to revocation
  • In case of revocation for a Habitual Traffic Offender
  • In case of suspension after too many points against the driver's license
  • In case of revocation after a serious offense

Proof of insurance and financial responsibility

A driver may establish proof of insurance and financial responsibility in the following ways;

  • Obtaining a Financial Responsibility Certificate
  • Getting a basic liability policy
  • Self-insurance-drivers may obtain a Self Insured Certificate if they prove that they have a net encumbered capital
  • Obtaining a Responsibility Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility
  • Obtaining a Financial Responsibility Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility.

Documentation

Insurance companies are expected to notify the FDHSMV of all drivers' proof of insurance. If however, they are asked for it by officers, they may provide any of the following documents;

  • An insurance policy binder
  • An insurance ID from the driver's insurance company
  • Surety bond
  • A copy of the insurance policy
  • Certificate of self-insurance

Instances where drivers may be required to provide proof of insurance include; When getting their license, when operating their vehicles, during registration of the vehicle, and when reinstating their license.

Penalties for failure to provide proof of insurance

Drivers that are unable to provide proof of insurance may face the following penalties;

  • Their driving privileges, license plates, and registration may be suspended for up to three years. The driver may only get their privileges back when they provide proof of insurance
  • They may need to pay a license reinstatement fine of at last $150 but not more than $500.

In case you have an issue with your car insurance and need your questions answered, visit https://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/frfaqgen.html for more information.