Insurance Laws in Florida
Every state requires motor vehicle owners and operators to be financially responsible for damage or injury. In Florida you must either carry approved insurance or meet minimum financial requirements. Your insurance carrier will issue you a Florida Insurance I.D. Card to prove coverage.
There are two motor vehicle insurance laws in Florida: The Financial Responsibility Law and the No-Fault law.
You will be issued a Florida Insurance I.D. Card from your insurance company. You must have this card ready to show to any law enforcement officer to prove that you have the required insurance. If not, you may receive a ticket for not having proof of insurance. If your driver license or license plate(s) are suspended for not obeying either of these laws, you cannot get a temporary license for any reason, not even for work purposes only. Any person who makes a false statement or commits forgery about their motor vehicle insurance can be guilty of a second degree misdemeanor. The Department will always provide you with an opportunity to prove insurance coverage or be heard before being suspended.
How to comply:
- By purchasing a motor vehicle insurance policy from a company licensed to do business in Florida.
- By obtaining a Financial Responsibility Certificate or Self Insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility
Remember: Automobile insurance is an important part of your driving privilege. Protect yourself and others by having and keeping the proper insurance coverage.
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The Financial Responsibility Law
All Florida vehicle owners must prove that they have coverage to pay for any injuries or vehicle damage they cause in a vehicle crash. The Financial Responsibility Law covers damage to other people or vehicles, not your own. This law requires any person to have liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage in any of the following circumstances:
- A crash where you are at fault and injuries have occurred.
- A suspension for too many points against your driver license.
- A citation for DUI, which results in a revocation.
- A revocation for Habitual Traffic Offender.
You must have the following minimum insurance coverage:
- $10,000 Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) (to one person).
- $20,000 Bodily Injury Liability to two or more persons.
- $10,000 Property Damage Liability (PDL), or
- $30,000 Combined single limits.
If you do not have insurance to comply with the Financial Responsibility Law, your driver license and/or license plates will be suspended for up to three years.
If you get caught without insurance, the state will send you a notice in the mail with a date of suspension of your drivers license. If you purchase insurance before the suspension date your insurance company should then certify it to the DHSMV by filing an SR-22 form. You only have to pay a $15 reinstatement fee. If you delay until after the suspension date, you must still purchase insurance and provide proof with Form S-22 but the reinstatement fee increases to $150.
Under this law, to protect yourself and others, you should have liability insurance on any motor vehicle you own or drive, including motorcycles.
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The No-Fault Law
The Florida No-Fault Law requires owners of motor vehicles with four or more wheels that have been in the state for at least 90 days or non-consecutive days during the past 365 days to purchase insurance from a Florida licensed company.
As long as you have your insurance, the policy provider will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of all action on your account, including renewals, failures to renew, and cancellations either by you or the policy provider.
If your policy is cancelled, you'll be notified by the DMV to provide proof of another policy. If you fail to provide that within the time allotted, your license will be suspended for up to three years or until you show proof of coverage, whichever is first.
The minimum coverages are:
- $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- $10,000 of Property Damage Liability (PDL)
You cannot buy a license plate and registration for a car, or other four-wheel vehicle, without having coverage issued in Florida. Once you have this insurance, anytime you renew it, fail to renew it, cancel it, or the insurance company cancels, the insurance company must notify this department. The department will then notify you to provide proof of new coverage. If you fail to provide proof of insurance, your driver license and license plate(s) will be suspended for up to three years.
You must maintain insurance coverage. Florida law requires you to pay damages or have your license suspended for up to 20 years.
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Penalties for Failure to Carry Insurance:
The state is serious about drivers carrying the minimum required amounts for accidents and crashes, and failure to comply can result in big trouble. Losing your license for failure to have the proper insurance can have lasting negative effects.
- First Offence within 3-years: pay $150 and show proof of current insurance.
- Second Offence within 3-years: pay $250 and show proof of insurance.
- Third offense within 3-years: pay $500 and show proof of insurance.
If your driver license and plate(s) have been under suspension for 30 days or more for a no-fault insurance violation, a police officer can seize your license plate immediately.
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Insurance Related Questions:
Have more questions about Florida insurance laws?
Florida has a helpful FAQ page for General Insurance Questions
There is also a page for Accident Related Questions
Or you can call the Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles at (850) 617-2000
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Alternative to Purchasing Insurance
The Florida Bureau of Financial Responsibility provides an alternative to purchasing insurance. They will issue a Financial Responsibility Certificate if you:
- Post a satisfactory surety bond of a company licensed to do business in Florida.
- Deposit cash or securities with the Department.
- Obtain a Self Insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility by providing satisfactory evidence of possessing a net unencumbered capital.
For more information call HSMV at (850) 617-2000
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