Motorcycle insurance law in Florida can be confusing. Many people have the mistaken belief that motorcyclists do not need insurance because car insurance law is not the same as motorcycle insurance law. Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law does, however, apply to motorcycles and there are consequences for not carrying motorcycle insurance. This article is a basic overview of motorcycle insurance law in Florida.
Car Insurance vs. Motorcycle Insurance In many states, car insurance laws and motorcycle insurance laws are the same, but in Florida there are big differences between the two types of laws. Most importantly, Florida car drivers must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which covers medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who is at fault for an accident. PIP insurance laws do not apply to motorcycles.
Some insurance companies may offer PIP insurance for motorcycles that is similar to PIP insurance for cars, but that insurance is not regulated by Florida law because PIP is not required for motorcycles. Also, after a motorcycle accident, a person does not need to show a permanent injury to recover money for pain and suffering, unlike an injury resulting from a car accident. Get Motorcycle Insurance Generally, there are two ways to obtain motorcycle insurance in Florida: Buy coverage from an insurance carrier licensed to do business in Florida (this is the most common way to get insurance); Get a Self-Insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility based on net worth.
A licensed insurance agent can provide information about insurance options available, but the minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance in Florida are as follows: $10,000 for one person for bodily injury liability; $20,000 for two or more people for bodily injury liability; and $10,000 per crash for property damage liability. Motorcyclists may consider purchasing uninsured motorist coverage (UM) in addition to other forms of insurance.
UM may help with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you are injured in a crash and the other driver does not have bodily injury insurance or the bodily injury insurance is not enough to cover your expenses. In Florida, UM benefits automatically “stack,” meaning you can combine the UM coverage you have on other vehicles. Insurance companies may place limits on this, however, so you may consider discussing the stacking policy with your insurance agent.
Proof of Financial Responsibility After getting motorcycle insurance, the insurance company will send the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) details of the insurance policy, which are kept in the DHSMV computer system. Even though DHSMV will have this insurance information in its database, every motorcyclist should keep proof of financial responsibility on them. Proof depends on the type of insurance or financial responsibility you have, but may include the following: An insurance card from an insurance carrier; or A Self-Insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility.
Penalties for Not Having Insurance Motorcycle owners who cannot provide proof of insurance may have to deal with penalties, such as suspension of driver’s licenses, motorcycle registration, and motorcycle license plates, as well as fees to regain driving privileges. For additional information about motorcycle insurance in Florida you can contact DHSMV at (850) 617-2000. If you have been involved in a motorcycle collision and have question about your legal rights, you may consider contacting an attorney.
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Florida has some of the most unique car insurance laws among the states. However, while most states' motorcycle insurance laws mirror their car insurance laws, Florida is an exception. Read more to learn about Florida's motorcycle insurance requirements. Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility If you own a motorcycle or moped and want―or need―to establish financial responsibility for it, you might be able to choose one of the following methods: Purchase liability coverage from an insurance carrier licensed to do business in Florida.
This is the most common way to establish financial responsibility for any vehicle. Obtain a Financial Responsibility Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility after you: Post a surety bond with a state-licensed company. Deposit 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 you provide evidence of possessing a net encumbered capital.
NOTE: If you are interested in establishing financial responsibility for your motorcycle in any way other than purchasing liability coverage, you should contact the DHSMV to find out if it's an option for you and the required steps. Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined If you're unsure about the registration and insurance requirements for your two-wheeled vehicle, please call the DHSMV at (850) 617-2000 for clarification.
Motorcycle―Motorcycles are generally the easiest of the two-wheeled vehicles to spot. Know that if your vehicle has an engine displacement of more than 50 cc, Florida considers it a motorcycle and you must register it. Mopeds―Your vehicle is a moped if it has: 3 wheels or fewer A seat Pedals that allow you to propel the vehicle A motor of two-brake horsepower or less The ability to go no faster than 30 MPH An automatic power-drive system A displacement of 50 cc or less (if it has an internal combustion engine) Scooters―Your vehicle is a scooter if it has: No seat or saddle 3 wheels or less The ability to go no faster than 30 MPH Florida Motorcycle Insurance Requirements The DHSMV recommends contacting a licensed insurance agent for specific details about purchasing insurance for your motorcycle.
Financial Responsibility Law You might want to use the state's minimum liability coverage requirements for private passenger vehicles as outlined in the Financial Responsibility Law as guidelines: $10,000 for 1 person in bodily injury liability $20,000 for 2 or more people in bodily injury liability $10,000 per crash in property damage liability To make sure you're as protected as possible. As you get a motorcycle insurance quote, you might want to browse other types of coverage as well.
A Note on Florida's No-Fault Law Florida is considered a "no-fault" state, meaning you are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for your car. These no-fault laws do not apply to motorcyclists. How Coverage Affects Helmet Requirements Motorcyclists who are at least 21 years old and have a minimum of $10,000 with a medical insurance policy don't have to wear helmets while operating their bikes.
However, every motorcyclist, regardless of age or insurance, must wear eye protection unless the motorcycle has a windshield. Proof of Insurance and Financial Responsibility After your motorcycle insurance company sends the DHSMV the details of your insurance policy, the DHSMV will keep those details in its computer system. Still, you should keep proof of your insurance or other form of financial responsibility with you.
Depending on how you insure or establish financial responsibility for your motorcycle, you can show proof with your: Insurance ID card from your insurance carrier. Financial Responsibility Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility. Self-Insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility. Penalties for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility Generally, owners who can show no proof of motorcycle insurance face suspended driving privileges, registrations, and license plates, as well as reinstatement fees.
However, the DHSMV recommends calling the customer service line at (850) 617-2000 or your local Motor Vehicle Services office for details about what will happen if you fail to maintain financial responsibility.