Florida car insurance laws can get pretty confusing. Because these laws are constantly evolving, staying up to speed can keep you safe, in compliance, and protected, in the event of a car accident.

As of 2019, a whopping 20.4 percent of drivers on Florida roads were uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute. As car insurance is very closely related to personal injury law — think underpaid claims, uninsured motorist claims and more — we’ve seen far too many people suffer as a result of having little or no car insurance.

To ensure that you are fully protected, should something happen during your travels, it is wise to understand the ins and outs of car insurance. While we certainly cannot cover everything that comes into play in a single blog post, we can cover two important topics — who your policy covers, and the importance of acknowledging vehicle use.

A Floridian involved in a motorcycle accident fills out their injury claim form.

The Cliff Notes: Key Takeaways From This Post

  • 1
    Car insurance coverage is for the vehicle listed, but if someone is going to drive regularly, they should be listed on the policy.
  • 2
    In Florida, it is mandatory to have personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) insurance with minimums of $10,000.
  • 3
    PIP insurance covers up to 80% of medical expenses or up to $10,000 after an accident, while PDL covers damage to vehicles and other property.
  • 4
    There are penalties for not having car insurance in Florida, including license and registration suspension and reinstatement fees.
  • 5
    When filing a claim with the car insurance company, there may be exclusions—intentional damage will likely not be covered.
  • 6
    When setting-up a car insurance policy, accurate information about driving habits must be reported in order for coverage to apply in times of need.
  • 7
    Professional legal assistance can help when disputing an insurer’s decisions related to claims or coverage denials.

Who does your insurance cover?

Have you ever hesitated to lend your car to a friend or family member for fear that they will get in an accident? With the right car insurance coverage, you won’t have to worry as much.

There is a major misconception that car insurance coverage is only for the person listed. While it is true that the policy covers that driver, the insurance covers the vehicle listed, not the person. So with some exceptions, regardless of who is behind the wheel of your car, the car insurance company should pick up the bill after an accident.

That being said, if someone is going to drive your vehicle on a regular basis, they should be listed on the car insurance policy. Also, remember that certain people can be excluded.

Is it mandatory to have car insurance in Florida?

It is mandatory to have some car insurance in the state of Florida. In most cases, Florida law requires drivers to carry two forms of car insurance with a minimum of $10,000 before registering a vehicle: personal injury protection insurance and property damage liability insurance.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP insurance, also referred to as no-fault insurance, covers up to 80 percent of medical expenses—or up to $10,000—after a car accident, regardless of who is found at-fault and of who is in either car at the time of the accident.

For example, if you T-Bone someone and your passenger is injured, PIP may cover the cost of their medical expenses, up to your policy limit. PIP insurance can help offset the cost of the following:

  • Medical bills: Depending on your minimum (in Florida, it is $10,000), insurance will cover some of the medical bills.
  • Funeral costs: If you or a passenger in your car loses their life as the result of an accident, PIP would cover funeral expenses. Be mindful that this could also open the door to a wrongful death suit if there was negligence found.

Property Damage Liability (PDL)

Let’s say you hit another person’s car or accidentally damage property with your vehicle, for whatever reason. Florida Statute, § 316.065 requires that you call local law enforcement in the event you’re involved in a crash that involves “injury or death to a person, or at least $500 estimated vehicle or property damage.”

PDL insurance covers damage to vehicles and other property—whether yours or someone else’s—in the event of an accident. Having PDL insurance often ensures you won’t have to pay out of pocket costs for the following:

Vehicles: Whether it’s a minor fender bender or a total loss, PDL coverage helps pay for the auto body repairs and provides reimbursements to other people’s vehicles.
Damage to other property: Repairing damage to office buildings, storefronts, houses, fences, lamp posts, mailboxes, and more.

According to Florida Statute, § 627.7275 (1), PIP insurance policies cannot be issued unless said policy also provides PDL coverage. According to (2)(e), insurers have the right to cancel this policy, should anyone named have their license revoked.

A Floridian involved in a motorcycle accident fills out their injury claim form.