In Florida, every driver is required to maintain an auto insurance policy. According to Florida law, if you drive a motor vehicle with four or more wheels, you must carry at least $10,000 of personal injury protection insurance (PIP), also known as no-fault insurance. It is also mandatory to have a minimum of $10,000 of property damage liability insurance. If your insurance lapsed due to nonpayment, or if you never obtained the mandatory insurance coverage, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend your driving privilege and may request that law enforcement seize the tag on the uninsured vehicle.
Driving Without Insurance
If law enforcement requests proof of insurance and you are unable to prove you have the insurance required by law, you may be issued a citation for no proof of insurance. A ticket for failure to provide proof of insurance can ultimately result in fines and license suspension. Law enforcement is allowed to give you a ticket even if you have insurance, but are not able to provide a copy of your insurance card. Proof of insurance may be provided electronically on your phone. If you provide a proof of insurance knowing that it is not currently in force, you can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Personal injury protection insurance (PIP) provides coverage regardless of whether you cause an accident (are “at fault”) or are simply an innocent victim. PIP was created to reduce the need for lawsuits by individuals seeking reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages resulting from auto accidents.
PIP may pay up to 80% of reasonable and necessary medical expenses, 60% of lost wages, and $5,000 in death benefits.
Since 2013, Florida’s PIP statute has covered medical expenses only if treatment is given within 14 days of the accident. After 14 days, only reasonable follow-up care related to diagnoses made at the initial medical visit is covered. Medical benefits coverage is capped at $2,500 unless an “emergency medical condition” is found by a medical doctor, dentist, physician’s assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner – in which case the injured person can receive up to $10,000 in medical benefits coverage.
For auto accidents that happen in Florida, PIP will cover you, relatives who live in your home, some passengers, and others who drive your car with your permission. Pedestrians and bicyclists may be covered under PIP if they are Florida residents and are injured in a collision with a vehicle that is required to carry no-fault insurance.
Accidents in Other States
If you have an accident outside of Florida, you are responsible for reporting it to your insurance carrier. PIP insurance will cover you and relatives who live in your home if an accident happens outside Florida but inside the United States or Canada. In these cases, you must have been driving your own vehicle. Persons other than you or your relatives are not covered.
If you receive a ticket out of state, points will be assessed against your Florida driver’s license. If you receive a citation or are criminally charged in an out of state accident, your driving privileges in Florida may be affected, as well.