Your Right To Sue After A Car Accident
In Florida, you may be able to sue for pain and suffering resulting from an accident, but there are stricter limits than in many other states. You can sue for medical and other economic losses once your own PIP limits are exhausted, but you cannot sue for emotional suffering or other noneconomic losses unless you meet several qualitative thresholds. A court may rule to exempt you from Florida’s limited right to sue and award you pain-and-suffering compensation if you meet one of these specific conditions:
- Significant disability, in which you’ve lost one or several bodily functions.
- Permanent injury, according to a doctor’s opinion.
- Significant disfigurement, according to a court’s decision.
Liability Insurance Requirements In Florida
The only liability insurance required in the state of Florida is at least $10,000 in property damage liability insurance. This is a very low amount of insurance and likely wont be enough to cover damages in an accident larger than a fender bender, so drivers should consider getting higher levels of coverage if they can afford it.
Property damage liability insurance covers damage you cause to another persons property in an at-fault accident. This is the coverage that will pay to repair the other drivers car in a collision or to replace personal property, like if you were to run over someone elses mailbox.
Florida drivers also have the option of purchasing bodily injury liability coverage although its not required. While drivers in Florida are required to have at least $10,000 in PIP coverage for their own medical expenses, an at-fault driver will still be held liable for the damage they cause in an accident.
Basically, PIP coverage pays your medical expenses after an accident, no matter who is at fault. But if you cause an accident and the other driver ends up with $25,000 in medical expenses and their PIP coverage is only $10,000, you would still be responsible for paying the additional $15,000.
This means you could be taken to court and forced to pay additional expenses out-of-pocket in an at-fault accident, even if the other driver has PIP coverage, so the best way to protect yourself financially is to purchase bodily injury liability coverage.
How Does Pip Work In Florida
Florida law only requires PIP coverage to pay for 80% of medical expenses, which means you will still be held responsible for the other 20% of medical costs associated with the accident, up to the limit of your insurance. Think of this like co-insurance on your health insurance policy the insurance company pays 80% of your medical bill and you are left to cover the other 20% out-of-pocket.
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Should I Get More Coverage Than Floridas Required Insurance Minimum
If you are a Florida driver, you should strongly consider upgrading your minimum insurancenew caryou could get sued for any medical expenses topping $10,000,better protectionfree comparison tool like Jerry
Key Takeaway Floridaâs low minimum insurance limits can leave you shouldering a lot of risks if you donât upgrade your policy.
Property Damage Liability Insurance Coverage
If you are at-fault in an accident, Property Damage Liability Insurance Coverage covers property that you damage while driving.
PDLs extent of coverage applies to:
- You even if you were driving someone elses vehicle
- Relatives in your home who drive your car and it might be applicable to
- Someone who uses your vehicle with your consent
Although PIP and PDL are the two insurance coverages required in the State of Florida, you may find that different states might require different coverages. PIP and PDL insurance coverages are not required in every state. Each state has its own insurance minimum requirement. Additional insurance coverages that are merely optional for a Floridian might be a required coverage in another state.
For example, Bodily Injury Liability Insurance is an insurance that is required in certain states. BIL covers injuries to people if they are injured or killed in a car accident. However, as of now, BIL insurance is not required in the State of Florida.
Therefore, if you are in a car accident, it is important to have car insurance. Being in a car accident alone can be unfortunate, but it becomes more problematic if an uninsured driver is involved. Thus, having the proper car insurance minimum will be to your advantage.
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Is Additional Coverage Mandatory
Many people are confused about whether or not the car rental insurance offered at the counter is required. Florida requires car rental companies to carry insurance on their vehicle. However, there is no corresponding law that says that someone has to purchase additional insurance.
Rental car insurance in Florida is optional for those people who meet the circumstances listed above. Yet some car rental companies are suspected of pushing optional insurance policies on renters as if they were mandatory. If you purchased car rental insurance under the impression that it was required, you may be able to seek compensation.
How Can You Get Low
Low-cost insurance is provided with no hassle to those who have good driving records, a good credit rating, and those who fit a certain demographic. What do you do if one or more of these factors is working against you?
The best option in this scenario is to investigate which types of discount programs are available to you as you shop for car insurance. Some of these discount programs include:
- Safe Driver Discount
- Student Discount
- AND Veteran Discounts
Taking a defensive driving course can lower your rates if you have the time and money to invest.
With all of these ways to save or recover from driving points, why wouldnt you take advantage of a few of them? Despite the variety of discounts and recovery options, some people still feel compelled to file false claims.
Be forewarned though that the State of Florida takes insurance fraud VERY seriously.
What are the car insurance fraud laws in Florida?
While being a no-fault state can have its advantages for Florida residents in need of quick reimbursement after an accident, it also lends itself to higher car insurance fraud incidents. The Insurance Information Institute notes that:
In many no-fault states, unscrupulous medical providers, attorneys, and others perpetrate fraud by padding costs associated with a legitimate claim, for example, by billing an insurer for a medical procedure that was not performed.
A person caught committing insurance fraud in the Sunshine State can be subject to:
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Do You Need Car Insurance In Florida
Car insurance is required in Florida. If you reside in the Sunshine State, you must meet Florida’s auto insurance minimums with coverage limits of at least:
- Personal injury protection : $10,000
- Property damage liability : $10,000
Personal injury protection covers your medical costs, as well as lost wages and death benefits, and pays out even if you’re at fault. PD covers damage you cause to another person’s vehicle or property.
What Happens If I Dont Have Current Auto Insurance
You must maintain the Florida minimum auto insurance requirements if you wish to drive legally in the state. The failure to carry current car insurance will result in the suspension of your drivers license, registration, and plates until you provide the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles with valid proof of your current car insurance policy.
It also results in a hefty reinstatement fee that increases with each offense:
- $150 for the first offense
- $250 for the second offense
- $500 for each offense after
If you provide proof of auto insurance to the DHSMV prior to the date of suspension, you will not face any penalties. Or, if you no longer own the vehicle, then you can surrender the plates to your local Florida DMV.
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What Are The Windshield Coverage Laws In Florida
There are a few things you should know when it comes to windshields in Florida. The first of these is that all vehicles operating in the Sunshine State must have functioning windshield wipers.
Florida laws do not mention cracked or damaged windshields. But there are other relevant Florida car insurance regulations that can make driving with a damaged, chipped, or broken windshield illegal.
It is also important to note that, in Florida, coverings, stickers, or signs on windshields are against the law. There are a few exceptions, such as:
- Stickers that are mandatory by law
- And/or toll payment devices, such as Floridas SunPass device
These stickers or devices cannot obstruct the drivers view. This is also damage, such as cracks or chips, which can potentially interfere with the drivers view.
Florida also adheres to the federal regulation that any cracks or chips smaller than ¾-inch in diameter are permitted, but that this damage cannot be located within three inches of another crack. This damage must also be located away from the drivers view.
Comprehensive coverage will generally cover windshield damage in the Sunshine State, but as with the filing of all other types of claims, this could increase your rates the next time that you rewrite your policy.
All of this talk of high-risk drivers and increased rates seems intimidating, but there are low-cost options in Floridas state. Keep reading to find out what they are and if they might be right for you.
Uninsured And Underinsured Insurance
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage protects you for personal injury damages caused by another driver if that driver doesnt have insurance coverage or enough to pay all of your damages.
Unfortunately, there are many drivers operating vehicles that do not have insurance to cover your injuries. Most UM-UIM policies will cover you, your spouse, and all relatives residing in your household, and most often all of your passengers. Also, the UM-UIM policies will cover you if you are riding in another persons vehicle, and even if you are a pedestrian or on a bicycle.
We believe UM-UIM coverage is some of the most important insurance everyone who owns a vehicle should purchase.
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What Are The Largest Car Insurance Companies In Florida
We gave you a brief overview of how a car insurance providers market share and how it works alongside loss ratio to help you get better customer service. But what does market share mean?
Florida Car Insurance Companies Direct Premiums Written and Market Share
GEICO controls approximately 25% of the overall car insurance market in Florida. GEICO also has $4,678,326 in Direct Premiums Written, which indicates that GEICO is financially sound as well since:
While insurance companies can increase revenue by increasing premiums on policies that have come up for renewal, the main driver for growth in this area is writing new policies.
What about The General auto insurance in Florida? You can get cheaper car insurance, but GEICO and other high market companies perform much better.
Florida Car Insurance Regulations
#1 What car insurance is required by law in Florida? If you live in Florida, youre required to carry at least $10,000 coverage for property damage liability per person or $20,000 per accident, and at least $10,000 for personal injury protection. You might also hear this referred to as the Florida Financial Responsibility Law.
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Penalties For Driving Without Proof Of Insurance In Florida
As a no-fault state, Floridas auto insurance requirements stipulate that all drivers riding a motor vehicle must have at least the minimum required coverage. Non-compliance will lead to penalties, sanctions, and other repercussions.
|First offense||$150||Suspension of license and registration for up to three years if proof of insurance is not submitted in a timely manner.|
|Second offense||$250||Suspension of license and registration for up to three years if proof of insurance is not submitted in a timely manner.|
|Subsequent offenses||$500||Suspension of license and registration for up to three years if proof of insurance is not submitted in a timely manner.|
After an accident, the parties involved must provide authorities with evidence of insurance. If you fail to keep current PIP and PDL insurance on your vehicle, you will be penalized with a non-moving traffic violation and your license will be revoked.
Also, intentionally providing a law enforcement official with expired insurance information is a first-degree criminal offense with penalties and maybe imprisonment. If evidence of insurance is supplied within twenty-four hours after the accident, a citation for failing to present proof of insurance may be dismissed.
Auto insurance laws in Florida exist to protect you and others. Ensure that you and your family have the appropriate auto insurance requirements in Florida.
Florida Auto Insurance Requirements After A Dui Or Accident
If youre determined at fault in an accident that injures or kills someone in Florida, you must purchase $30,000 of bodily injury liability insurance. This coverage can be a lump sum per accident or split into per person and accident limits.
If youre convicted of a DUI, youll need to purchase bodily injury liability coverage of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. Youll also have to increase your property damage liability coverage.
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How To Get Cheap Car Insurance In Florida
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Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In Florida
Driving without the proper insurance coverage in Florida is illegal, and comes with heavy consequences. If drivers do not maintain no-fault insurance throughout the registration period, their drivers license and license plates can be suspended for up to three years. They are also required to pay a reinstatement fee, which can cost up to $500.
Additionally, drivers who fail to provide proof of insurance documentation when requested by law enforcement may get their drivers license suspended for up to three years. In some cases, drivers who get their license suspended must purchase SR-22 insurance to get it back, which proves they carry the states minimum required insurance coverage.
The penalty for driving without insurance in Florida varies depending on the circumstances. If you are caught driving without insurance, you will receive a letter from the DMV with further instructions on how to clear suspensions, pay fines and whether you need to file an SR-22.
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Liability Insurance In Florida
Liability insurance in Florida is not technically required, except for property damage liability , of which drivers are required to carry $10,000 as part of their no-fault car insurance.
No-fault car insurance does not mean that no one is at fault in an accident rather, it refers to whose insurance kicks in first in relation to injuries. Because Florida is a no-fault state, every driver, regardless of fault, must carry $10,000 in PIP coverage to drive legally, which means that each drivers PIP will kick in after an accident to cover medical expenses and lost wages up to the policy limits. After that, the at-fault driver could be liable for any additional medical expenses. Florida does not require bodily injury liability like most states, which is the insurance that typically covers other peoples injuries if you cause an accident.
Keep in mind that Floridas minimum coverage limits for PIP and PDL are relatively low. A serious accident could easily cause more than $10,000 in property damage or $10,000 in medical expenses, so you might want to consider purchasing higher coverage limits to protect yourself financially.
How Much Car Insurance Are You Legally Required To Have When Driving In The State Of Florida
Insurance laws can be confusing since they change by state. So well start off with a simple question and a straightforward answer:
Is car insurance in Florida required?
Absolutely. In fact, having some level of car insurance is the law in every state except two . In Florida, you must carry proof of insurance with you whenever you drive and it must be current. In the event that youre pulled over or in a car accident, you will be asked by law enforcement to show this proof. Registration of any new vehicle also requires that you have proof of Florida coverage.
In Florida, its common to see all types of vehicles. Many Floridians live on or near the beachfront, so residents regularly drive on and off the road with non-traditional vehicles such as water bikes, golf carts, go karts, and so forth. While these types of vehicles do not need insurance, the state of Florida requires that every standard 4-wheeled vehicle maintain the minimum level of Florida auto insurance coverage.
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Can You Get Car Insurance Without A License In Florida
Generally, it is possible to get car insurance without a drivers license. However, the process may be more complicated than usual. Additionally, many auto insurance providers do not offer car insurance to people with no license. It is also important to note that Florida requires a license to drive a motor vehicle on the streets of the state.
What Is A Carco Inspection And Is That Mandated In Florida
Florida is one of the few states in which a CARCO examination is required for certain coverages. This is an impartial pre-insurance examination to confirm and record the existence of your vehicle, its physical condition, mileage, and extras. Your insurance company will be notified of the findings of the CARCO inspection.
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