Florida is a unique state when it comes to car insurance requirements. Every driver must carry a minimum amount of coverage to legally operate a vehicle in Florida in case he or she suffers a car accident. Unlike many states, you are responsible for paying for your own damages after an accident regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Florida’s No-Fault Car Insurance System
Unlike most states, Florida operates on a no-fault car insurance system. No-fault insurance systems mean that after you suffer injuries in a car accident, your personal car insurance is responsible for compensating you for any injuries or financial losses you suffer as a result of the accident. This system differs from the traditional fault system used by most states, which requires the at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay for any injuries and damage.
You can recover compensation for your medical bills, property damage, and potentially any lost wages you incur while recovering from your injuries. However, you cannot receive compensation for any non-financial losses under your own insurance coverage. For pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other intangible damages, you will have to meet Florida’s serious injury threshold and recover damages from the other driver’s insurance policy.
The Serious Injury Threshold
If you want to obtain additional compensation from the other driver in your accident, you will have to prove that he or she caused your accident and that you suffered serious injuries. To pass the serious injury threshold, your injuries must have to meet at least one of the following requirements.
- Bone fractures
- Permanent limitation of a body organ or part
- Significant limitation of a body function or system
- Significant disfigurement
- Substantially full disability for at least 90 days
Florida Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
Under Florida state law, all motor vehicle operators must carry a minimum amount of insurance. This insurance helps establish financial responsibility in the event the driver is in an accident and helps him or her recover compensation for injuries he or she may sustain. Under a no-fault car insurance policy, you, your children, passengers without their own insurance, and members of your household receive coverage.
Florida’s no-fault insurance coverage not only protects you when you are behind the wheel, but also if you are in an accident in someone else’s vehicle or while you are a pedestrian or cyclist. The minimum amount of Florida car insurance each driver must carry is as follows.
- $10,000 in personal injury protection benefits
- $10,000 in property damage liability benefits, in case you cause damage to someone else’s vehicle or property in a car accident
Since it is a no-fault car insurance state, Florida does not require drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage, but you can choose to add this option to your plan. This coverage provides compensation for damage suffered by other drivers, pedestrians, passengers, and cyclists in an accident you cause.
Consequences of Not Having Insurance in Florida
If you do not have the minimum amount of insurance coverage in Florida, you could receive a driver’s license suspension for up to three years. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may also take away your license and registration during this time period. You will have to pay a reinstatement fee between $150 to $500 to recover your license and registration. For repeat offenses, you could receive a license and registration suspension up to 20 years and even jail time.
If you do not have insurance coverage in Florida, it is important to obtain this coverage as soon as possible. No-fault insurance coverage protects you in all motor vehicle collision situations, helping you obtain the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.