Many states in the country require a minimum amount of insurance coverage to legally drive. Florida is no exception. Florida car insurance plans have set minimums in place in order to ensure that everyone involved in a collision has some protection. So what are these Florida car insurance requirements? Can I get cheap insurance in Florida with these required minimums? What are the penalties levied if I am caught uninsured by the Florida DMV or the police? Read on for answers to these questions and others regarding Florida car insurance.
Minimum Insurance Requirements in the State of Florida
Florida is a “no-fault” state. This means that if you are injured in a car accident, your FL car insurance will pay your medical costs up to your policy’s limits, regardless of who caused the accident. The insurance minimums were put into law with the intention that every Florida driver at least has some protection through their car insurance. Florida state minimum requirements for car insurance include:
- $10,000 worth of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance
- $10,000 worth of property damage liability insurance
Bear in mind, these are the minimum limits in order legally drive in the state of Florida as of August 2017. Check with the Florida DMV to make sure the laws and the minimum limits haven’t changed. While these are the required limits, it is recommended that you purchase insurance plans that provide wider coverage in order to be more thoroughly protected.
What is Personal Injury Insurance (PIP)?
Personal injury insurance (PIP) helps provide compensation for medical expenses and income loss as a result of a car accident. PIP can also cover you if you are injured in a car accident as a passenger in someone else’s car. Your PIP also provides protection for:
- Your child
- You child when he or she is riding on a school bus
- You when you are struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian
- You when you are struck by a vehicle as a bicyclist
- Passengers in your vehicle that don’t have PIP insurance and don’t own a car
What is Property Damage Liability Insurance?
Property damage liability coverage will cover damages done to someone else’s property if you have caused a car accident. This can include other cars, buildings, and other forms of property. It should be noted that this policy won’t cover any of your losses, just the losses you are responsible for causing for other people involved in the accident.
Minimums for SR-22 and FR-44 Policies
If you have previously been in an accident in the state of Florida or have certain violations on your record, you may be required to purchase an SR-22 insurance policy. Many people aren’t sure what an SR-22 entails, but the short version is that SR-22 insurance is certifiable proof from the insurer that you are covered. This also means that you have to purchase additional insurance, such as bodily injury liability coverage, on top of the state minimums in order to legally drive.
You will be required to carry an SR-22 for 3 years if:
- You are involved in a car accident that caused severe damage or injury
- You had your drivers license suspended due to excessive traffic violations
- You had your license revoked regularly
If you have a DUI on your record, you will have to purchase additional insurance while also filling out an FR-44 form as proof of coverage. FR-44 certificates are required when a person is convicted of a DUI and didn’t have the following coverage at the date of the arrest:
- $50,000 for property damage liability
- $100,000 for injury to one person
- $300,000 for injuries to all people in an accident
Naturally, this is a much higher insurance requirement and a more expensive premium to pay. You also will have to carry an FR-44 for 3 years. It is best to just never drive under the influence. It is not only completely dangerous, but incredibly costly.
Penalties for Driving Uninsured or Underinsured in Florida
If the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) has no record of your car insurance policy, you will usually be notified by mail. In fact, it is required that insurance companies electronically notify the DHSMV if your insurance policy was cancelled. Once you are given a notification, it will have a date of suspension. If you do not provide any proof of insurance to the DHSMV by the suspension date, your drivers license, plates, and registration will all be suspended.
You will then have to get the minimum required insurance and pay a fee in order to reinstate your license, plates, and registration. The reinstate fees/penalties are the following as of August 2017:
- $150 for the first offense
- $200 for the second offense
- $500 for the third offense and every additional offense afterward
It is less costly and safer overall if you adhere to the law and have the required state minimum coverage. It will help keep you legal while also providing some protection in case of an accident.
Now that you know the Florida state minimums for insurance, you may need to get an updated policy in order to stay legal. In fact, you’ll probably want more widespread protection at a lower cost. Freeway Insurance can provide you the best insurance rates available in the state. Give us a call or get a free Florida car insurance quote online to stay legal, stay covered, and stay safe.