The penalty for driving without insurance in Florida is suspension of your license, registration and vehicle tags for up to 3 years or until you purchase a new policy, whichever comes first. During this suspension, you won’t be able to get a temporary or restricted license, even to commute to work. After the first offense, you’ll pay a $150 reinstatement fee to get your license and registration back. A second lapse in your policy within three years will cost you $250. After a third lapse within three years, reinstatement will cost $500.
Under Florida’s no-fault law, all Florida vehicle owners are required to carry at least minimum insurance coverage: $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL) and $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP).
If your insurance policy ever lapses, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will know because your insurance carrier is required to notify them immediately. The DHSMV will then mail you a notice of suspension. This gives you the opportunity to provide proof that you had new insurance in place before the old policy expired or was cancelled. If you do not, you’ll lose your driving privileges temporarily.
So, going without insurance can get expensive in Florida. But having an at-fault accident without insurance can be devastating. If the other driver is injured or vehicle is damaged, you can be required to pay the full cost of the losses out of your own pocket. You also can lose your license until the entire claim has been paid off.
If you’ve let your insurance lapse for any period of time, it may be difficult to get insurance companies to cover you. Also, you may have to pay around 30% more than drivers who maintain continuous coverage. However, some companies—including USAA, Nationwide and GEICO— are more accommodating than others, so shop around. Try to get quotes from several companies that meet your needs.
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