Sun-kissed beaches, natural attractions, historic establishments, family-friendly recreation… Florida State has everything that you expect for an awesome life experience. Since 1980, the dazzling beaches and thousands of coastlines in the Sunshine State have resulted in a doubling in the State’s population. In recent years, the population of Florida is still climbing.
So, if you crave for the breath-taking landscapes and the pleasant climate, moving to Florida! However, before you put this thinking into action, I advise you to first get familiarized with something meaningful – that is Florida requirements on auto liability insurance.
Driving your vehicle without car insurance is a threat to both you and others. Almost all states in the US require drivers to carry car insurance, which protects them from financial ruin in the event of a traffic accident. Then, among the typical types of coverage, liability coverage must be included in your car insurance, shielding you from lawsuits resulting from bodily injuries or property damages incurred during the accident at your fault.
Since car accident would be fatal, in all states in our country, except New Hampshire, liability insurance is mandatory. All motor-vehicle drivers must at least carry the minimum auto liability insurance required by the state they reside, otherwise, they can not drive on the public roads. Then, there is no exception for drivers in Florida State.
In Florida State, the drivers of vehicles with at least four wheels must have auto liability insurance, which will protect you from financial losses and lawsuits for damages or injuries your car does to other people or their property. You will be required to show the proof of your liability insurance in order to register your car. Without the auto liability insurance (at least the minimum coverage), that would be illegal if you drive your car out.
As we know, typical bodily injury liability coverage pays for the injury or death to others when a car accident happens at your fault. Your insurance company will pay up to your coverage amount and provide legal representation for you if you are sued. In some cases, the insurance company may also pay for bodily injuries caused by your family members who live with you, even if they were driving someone else’s vehicle when the accident occurred.
However, In the State of Florida, Personal Injury Protection, rather than bodily injury protection, is required for all licensed drivers in the state. Also referred to as Florida No Fault Insurance, PIP is mandatory for all owners or registrants of motor vehicles with four wheels, according to the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law.
This coverage provides extended bodily injury protection, covering medical expenses, lost wages, and other service charges based on your policy if you are involved in a motor accident, regardless of who is at fault for the crash.
In the event of a vehicle accident, your PIP will provide you with financial protection against bodily injuries up to the limits of your purchased coverage, regardless of who is at fault for the crash. Your PIP also covers your spouse, your child, other members in your family, and certain passengers in your vehicle who are not covered by PIP as long as they do not own a vehicle. Your child will be covered if he/she receives an injury when taking a school bus.
Meanwhile, Florida No Fault Insurance also covers you if you are in other’s vehicle as a passenger, or as a pedestrian, or a bicyclist when you suffer an injury in the accident.
Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage pays for the damages you or your family member cause to other people’s property when driving a motor vehicle.
You must carry PIP and PDL continuously throughout the licensing and registration period in Florida. Here are the minimum liability coverage amounts that a licensed motor-vehicle driver must carry in order to drive on public roads in Florida State:
• $10,000 for Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
• $10,000 for Property Damage Liability (PDL)
Additionally, your auto liability coverage must be purchased from an insurance company licensed by the Florida Department of Financial Services.
If you have purchased auto liability insurance in your previous state of residence, you still have to purchase the minimum required coverage issued by an insurance company licensed to sell car insurance in Florida. However, it is noteworthy that most insurers are licensed to sell liability insurance in Florida. You can consult your agent to see if your policy can be transferred to Florida when you move to Florida and need to register a vehicle.
What if you do not carry at least the minimum liability coverage on your vehicle in Florida? Then the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend your driving privilege, including your vehicle license plate and registration, for up to three years, or until you provide proof of Florida insurance, whichever is first. Meanwhile, you must pay a reinstatement fee of $150 to $500 for the subsequent violations.
During the suspension of your driving privilege, you will not be granted a temporary driver’s license, for Florida’s motor vehicle insurance laws do not allow any sort of temporary driver license for financial responsibility suspensions.
If you have multiple vehicles in Florida, you must also maintain coverage on all vehicles, even if some of them are not in use for whatever reasons, as Florida requires that liability insurance must be carried throughout the entire vehicle registration period, whether it is used or not.
Additionally, if you are a taxi driver in Florida and the only vehicle you registered is your taxicab, you need to carry $125,000 Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) for one person, $250,000 for each occurrence, and $50,000 for Property Damage Liability (PDL).
Then should you carry Florida auto liability insurance if you are not a resident of Florida, just here for several months for vacation, business, or some other reasons? If your have a vehicle in Florida for over 90 days during a 365-day period, you must purchase PIP and PDL coverage.
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