Lawyer Answers to Questions About Florida Motorcycle Insurance
Is Motorcycle Insurance Required in Florida?
Florida motorcycle laws are unique compared with most other states. In most states, motorcycle insurance laws are comparable to other motor vehicle laws but in Florida, they are not. Drivers of motor vehicles in Florida, with four or more wheels, are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) as part of the Florida no-fault insurance blanket. This will guarantee the payment of medical bills up to $2500 as long as the claim is filed within 14 days. If the medical bills resulted from an emergency, as certified by a medical professional, the PIP will pay the full threshold of $10,000. This PIP is not available to the motorcycle owner even if the owner already carries PIP for another vehicle. Given the fact that injuries in a motorcycle crash are likely to be more severe, the motorcycle rider is at greater risk of financial disaster following a serious crash.
Motorcycle Registration Florida
Florida motorcycle insurance requirements are based upon the financial responsibility of the owner against liability. The motorcycle owner is not required to carry insurance to register a motorcycle. However, the driver is held financially responsible if charged in a motorcycle crash. A motorcycle owner has three financial responsibility options to choose from.
- Purchase liability insurance for a licensed Florida insurance carrier. This would be the most common way of gaining coverage.
- Secure a Financial Responsibility Certificate. This requires posting a surety bond with a state-licensed company and depositing cash or securities with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV)
- Obtain a Self-Insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility after providing evidence of a net encumbered capital.
Florida Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Facts
In Florida, when would you be required to have bodily injury liability insurance?
The state’s minimum liability coverage requirements for other passenger vehicles are guidelines that can be used to determine the amount of coverage needed.
- $10,000 for one person bodily injury
- $20,000 for two or more people bodily injury
- $10,000 per crash in property damage liability.
Does Florida no-fault coverage apply to motorcycles?
Florida is a “no-fault” state requiring personal injury protection coverage for your personal vehicle of four wheels or more. No-fault coverage ensures that all medical bills will be paid regardless of who was at fault in an accident. No-fault laws do not apply to motorcycles.
This means that any motorcycle driver must pursue compensation from the other driver’s insurance for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering and damage to the motorcycle. They are not required to meet any threshold or prove the severity of injuries as are drivers of other personal vehicles. It is potentially beneficial for a motorcycle owner to obtain uninsured motorist coverage (UMC) in the case of a collision with a driver who does not carry liability insurance.
Approximately 13% of drivers nationwide are roaming the roads without insurance. According to data as recent as 2019, the number of uninsured motorists in Florida is often ranked highest in the nation at with 26.7% of drivers on the road having no insurance at all. This means that 1 in 4 drivers on Florida roads have no types of liability insurance. This is scary if one of these drivers severely injures you and you cannot pursue their insurance company for compensation.
What are the penalties for not having motorcycle insurance in Florida?
Although motorcycle insurance is not required to register a bike in Florida, there are penalties if you are involved in an accident and do not have insurance. If you were charged with an accident, you are financially responsible for bodily injuries and property damage. If no liability coverage was in effect at the time of the accident you could face serious ramifications including:
- Having your driving privileges suspended
- Having your registration and tag suspended
- Being required to purchase bodily injury/property damage liability coverage for three years
- Having civil judgments against you
In other words, motorcycle coverage is not mandatory until after you have caused an accident.
What kind of proof of insurance is required when riding a motorcycle in Florida?
Once you have purchased motorcycle insurance or obtained a self-insurance certificate, the DMV will input this information into their computer system. Despite their records, motorcycle riders are still required to carry some type of physical proof on them while operating a motorcycle on Florida roads. This proof of motorcycle insurance coverage makes it easier and less time-consuming in the event you need to prove you are insured to a law enforcement officer.
In the event you need to prove you have Florida motorcycle insurance, the following forms of proof are generally accepted:
- a physical insurance card from an insurance carrier
- a digital insurance card or photo of your insurance card
- account information screen on a web page
- self-insurance certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility (far less common)
Contact a Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney
A large percentage of motorcycle accidents are the fault of another driver, contrary to public perception. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident you should contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will have a thorough understanding of the complex Florida insurance system. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and damage to your motorcycle.
Dolman Law Group has successfully represented many victims of motorcycle crashes recovering large cash settlements. Reach out to us today for a free consultation. Do not wait as time can adversely affect your case. Call for a free consultation today at 727-451-6900 or fill out a contact form online.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765