It’s no secret that Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) statutes are riddled with problems. On the one side, insurers have complained for years about rampant fraud. On the other, Florida drivers have to deal with some of the highest car insurance rates in the nation.
The most recent salvo? The Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled that insurance companies are not obligated to fully reimburse those involved in car accidents for their post-crash medical treatments that should be covered under Personal Injury Protection insurance.
Help may be on the way, though. Senate Bill 378 addresses minimums for bodily injury liability. Here’s what you need to know about the current state of car insurance requirements in Florida and how those may soon be changing.
Coverage Required Under Florida Law
If you drive a motor vehicle in Florida, then you are required to have certain coverages included in your car insurance. The minimums mandatory under the law are required for you to legally operate a vehicle. These minimums currently are:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP insurance covers your medical costs if you are involved in an accident. It applies whether you were at fault for the accident or not and can extend to others involved in the accident such as passengers and drivers operating your car with your consent.
The current minimum PIP insurance required is $10,000.
Property Damage Liability Insurance
This is insurance that covers property you may damage while driving when you are at fault for an accident.
The extent of this coverage includes you (even if you’re operating the vehicle of another person), any relatives who live with you who may be driving your vehicle, and anyone you allow to use your vehicle.
The current state minimum for PIP insurance is $10,000.
Changes Under SB 378
The proposed changes under Senate Bill 378 include a revision to bodily injury liability coverage. For the injury or death of another person, it would be $25,000 for one person and $50,000 for two or more people. Property damage would stay at $10,000 and it also sets minimum coverage of medical expenses at $10,000.
These changes are meant to lower the costs of insurance for drivers in the Sunshine State, but many groups oppose these measures. Hospitals, doctors, and insurers are all afraid that these changes will only drive more people to operate a vehicle without insurance, pushing up health insurance premiums in the process.
Penalties in Florida For Operating a Car Without Minimum Insurance
In Florida, if you operate a vehicle without the appropriate insurance coverages, then you can have your license plate and driving privileges revoked for up to three years. The state does not make exceptions for those with hardship or a temporary driver’s license.
Also, if you fail to maintain the minimum insurance requirements in the state, you can not only have your license and registration suspended, but also be required to pay a reinstatement fee of $500 once you have the proper coverage.
There are, of course, other types of insurance you can get in addition to the required minimums in the state, such as collision and uninsured motorist insurance. However, it’s vital to ensure you have at least the minimum coverage required or you could face some serious penalties – and find yourself injured without insurance to cover you if you’re involved in a car accident.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.