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General Florida Insurance Guidelines
Florida currently requires that all drivers be covered under property damage liability and no-fault auto insurance. Proof of insurance must always be accessible in the vehicle.
Minimum Liability Coverage in Florida
Florida's minimum liability amounts are as follows:
- 0 (recommended minimum - $10,000) bodily injury per person.
- 0 (recommended minimum - $20,000) total bodily injury per accident.
- $10,000 total property damage per accident.
These are only the minimum requirements set by the state. Experts advise protecting your assets by getting more coverage than the state-mandated minimums as these limits tend not to keep pace with the ever increasing costs of car repairs and medical bills. Most drivers also add collision and comprehensive coverage to their policies to cover possible damage to their own cars as well.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
The penalties for driving without insurance in Florida are:
- Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend license, vehicle tag and registration
- Reinstatement fees of $150, $250 and $500
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Some states require drivers to carry UM/UIM, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects a driver if they get in an accident where the other party does not have auto insurance. Florida does not require UM/UIM coverage.
Some states have “No-Fault” laws where a policyholder will be reimbursed by their insurance company without proof of fault, and restricted in the right to seek reimbursement through the court system for losses caused by other parties. Florida is a “No-Fault” state.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Some states have Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” regulations requiring drivers to carry PIP insurance. This is an extension of auto insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages and/or other damages. Florida requires drivers to purchase PIP insurance. The minimum PIP coverage amounts for Florida are $10,000. (Standard coverage: 80% medical expenses, 60% lost wages, 100% replacement services such as child care, housekeeping or yard work, up to $5,000 for death benefits)
SR-22 Requirements for Florida
An SR-22 form is a vehicle liability insurance document to be filed with a state’s DMV as proof that a driver has the minimum required liability insurance coverage for that state. SR-22 filings are usually only required to reinstate driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident or driving without insurance. Florida requires an SR-22 filing for driver’s license reinstatement.
Florida DUI Laws
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the United States with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08% or higher. All states have driver's licensing laws that state that a licensed driver has given implied consent to a field sobriety test and/or method of determining BAC. This means that a driver is required to take such tests if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for administering one, with automatic penalties for refusing to comply. If BAC is determined to be above the legal level a driver will be penalized in various ways. The first DUI offense penalties for Florida are:
- 6 month imprisonment if BAC between 0.08% - 0.15%
- 9 months imprisonment if BAC is above 0.15%
- $500 - $1000 fine if BAC between 0.08% and 0.15%
- $1000 - $2000 fine if BAC above 0.15%
- 180 days to 1 yr license suspension
- Hardship reinstatement after successful completion of DUI school
- Ignition interlock device required for 6 months
- Up to 50 hrs community service
- Community service $10 for each hr served
- Treatment may be sought in lieu of prison
- 10-day vehicle impound
If a driver is found guilty or pleads no contest, he or she will need higher minimum liability insurance: $100,00 to cover 1 person injured or killed in 1 crash, $300,000 to cover 2 or more persons injured or killed in 1 crash, $50,000 property damage liability. You may opt to post a bond/certificate of $350,000 instead but you must then maintain extra coverage for 3 years. If your driving record stays clean, you can return to the standard insurance level.
Additional Information on Insurance for Florida
For more information, please contact Florida Office of Insurance Regulation: 1-850-413-3140 or visit their website at www.floir.com.
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