As each state has their own laws regarding car insurance it is a good idea to review the laws of Florida regarding insurance coverage for drivers. Knowledge of these laws can come in very handy if you’re even in an accident and need help finding Miami’s best car accident lawyer. You’ll see what type of insurance you need and the minimum amounts of coverage as well as explaining how the no-fault rules in Florida can affect your insurance and what happens if you’re involved in a car accident in Florida.
Florida’s “No-Fault” Car Insurance Status
Florida is one of twelve states that have “no-fault” insurance rules. These rules determine what happens in the payment of a claim following an auto accident. Florida’s “no-fault” rules require all drivers to carry insurance with personal injury protection (PIP). This protection is what pays for expenses incurred as the result of an accident and prevent accident victims from filing a lawsuit over the accident in most cases.
Miami car insurance laws require a minimum coverage for PIP benefits. In the event of a car accident each person involved in the accident will claim benefits from their own insurance policy to pay for things such as medical costs, lost wages, and certain other covered expenses. It makes no difference who was at fault in the accident, each person receives benefits from their insurance company based on their coverage. This differs from the “at-fault” states, where victims of a car accident can claim benefit from their own insurance policy, from the other driver’s insurance, or they can file a lawsuit to prove who was at fault for the accident and claim damages from the other driver if they can prove that they were the one at fault for the accident.
Florida’s “no-fault” insurance laws do allow for lawsuits to be filed in certain circumstances. To file a lawsuit and claim compensation from the driver who was at fault for the accident in Florida a person must have suffered injuries that are considered permanent by the court. This includes loss of bodily functions and disfigurement and since the degree of injury is subjective it is the court’s decision if an injury qualifies.
Florida Car Insurance Requirements
Florida has minimum requirements for insurance coverage of all drivers as follows:
– Personal Injury Protection in the amount of $10,000
– Property Damage Liability in the amount of $10,000
Florida is unique as it does not require bodily injury liability insurance like most other states. This type of insurance covers costs associated with injuries to others and because of the “no-fault” rules is unnecessary in Florida. All Florida drivers must carry insurance and if caught driving without insurance face a license suspension as well as a $500 fine for each offense.
Florida Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage
There is no requirement in Florida for uninsured/underinsured coverage. This type of coverage is offered by insurers, and in fact they are required to offer this insurance, but the insured can decline the coverage as long as they do so in writing. If an individual does elect this coverage it covers costs when the policyholder is injured by a driver with no insurance or with insurance that is insufficient to pay the medical bills and damages of the injured.
Florida Insurance Penalties
Drivers who are involved in an accident or are convicted of certain traffic violations may be required to purchase additional insurance. These are called the SR-22 and the FR-44. The SR-22 is required by those who were involved in a car accident that resulted in property damage of injuries, has had their license suspended because of traffic violations, or has had multiple license revocations. The law requires these drivers to purchase bodily injury liability insurance. Those with an SR-22 must pay their entire insurance premium up-front and are required to file the SR-22 with the Florida DMV.
Those convicted of a DUI offense in Florida may be required to file an FR-44 as well as purchasing additional insurance. The determination is made based on how much insurance coverage you had on the date of the DUI arrest. The requirements are for $100,000 for injuries to each individual, $300,000 for injuries to all individuals in a single accident, and $50,000 for property damage. If coverage is less than this the person will be required to file an FR-44 which is in effect for at least 3 years from the date of license suspension. In addition, you will be required to add bodily injury liability coverage in the amount of $100,000/$300,000 as before and property damage liability in the amount of $50,000.
Those looking for additional information about Miami car insurance laws can see this document that was created and released by the Florida Senate and explains the Florida “no-fault” insurance coverage requirements more fully. Even though the document is 10 years old it is still valid as there have been no changes to the Florida car insurance laws over the past 10 years. You can also get answers to questions about Florida car insurance and what to do after an accident on the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.