Merrill Burchell, Car Insurance Writer
In Florida, drivers need two kinds of insurance, $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL). Florida law also requires this car coverage on any vehicle driven in the state for more than 90 days during a 365-day period. That’s important because Florida has a large population of “snowbirds,” who live there part of the year and spend part of the year in other states. They may have out-of-state registrations and licenses, but Florida’s minimum PIP and PDL insurance requirements apply to them.
Also called Florida no-fault insurance, Florida PIP insurance covers 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost wages, regardless of who causes an accident. PIP coverage also protects you if you are injured in an accident with a motor vehicle while riding in someone else's car, walking, or riding a bike. Property damage liability coverage pays for damage you cause to other people's property in a car crash.
Florida’s minimum insurance requirements don’t provide much protection, however. You should think about raising the limits and adding other useful coverage. That might include bodily injury liability, collision, medical payment, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Florida Car Insurance Requirements
- Personal Injury Protection: $10,000 of coverage is required.
- Property Damage Liability: $10,000 of coverage is required.
- Collision (optional): Pays for repairs to your vehicle even if an accident is your fault.
- Medical Payment (optional): Pays the 20% of medical bills that PIP does not cover, plus amounts over $10,000.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (optional): Pays your claims if the at-fault driver has little or no liability insurance.
- Bodily Injury Liability (optional): Pays for the other party’s medical bills and/or lost income over $10,000 if an accident is your fault. Coverage is commonly $100,000 per person, up to $300,000 per accident.
As a “no-fault” state, Florida allows you to drive legally without bodily injury liability insurance. Each person’s own PIP or no-fault insurance pays out for their injuries, no matter who causes an accident. However, Florida’s no-fault law is limited. When a victim’s injuries are permanent or serious (costing over $10,000 in medical bills and/or lost income), the injured party can sue the at-fault driver for losses. This makes it very smart to carry bodily liability insurance, which will provide you with defense in court and pay these claims up to the policy limit.
It can be tempting to save money by purchasing only the minimum coverage required in Florida. But that can leave you with high out-of-pocket bills if you’re ever involved in an accident. Compare quotes on all your insurance options so you can make an informed decision.
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