I am sure you’ve heard at least once in your lifetime, “Driving is a privilege, not a right.” While this is true, every state has their own specific legal requirements that must be met before that privilege is extended to a would be driver. For the sake of this article, let’s assume you live in Florida and have already met Florida’s state requirements for possessing a valid driver’s license, What is the minimum amount of personal auto insurance you have to have to operate your vehicle in the state of Florida?
Simply stated, the owner of any vehicle registered in the state of Florida must purchase and maintain minimum coverage under Florida’s No-Fault Law of $10,000 Personal Injury Protection, also known as PIP, and $10,000 Property Damage Liability. That’s it. That’s all that is required unless . . . you are in an accident and found to be at fault.
In addition to the minimum insurance amounts required to operate a vehicle in the state, Florida also requires a driver to show financial responsibility if they are found to be at-fault in an accident that resulted in bodily injury. The Florida Responsibility Law requires an at-fault driver involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury and property damage to others to have full liability insurance coverage at the time of the accident. This coverage includes minimum bodily injury liability limits of $10,000 per person, $20,000 per accident, $10,000 property damage liability per accident and personal injury protection limits of $10,000 per person per accident1.
If you are in an accident that causes bodily injury to others and found to be at-fault and you do not meet the requirements of Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law, you will be required to immediately purchase this coverage and have it certified with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) on Form SR-22 for three years and you must obtain written releases from the injured parties that they were fully compensated for their injuries and/or property damages. These requirements must be met in the time frame specified by the DHSMV or your license will be suspended for three years, and in some cases, suspended for a period of up to 20 years.
While the short answer to the question of what the minimum amount of personal auto insurance coverage required in the State of Florida is $10,000 PIP and $10,000 Property Damage, you should be aware this is the minimum coverage that gives your car the privilege to be driven on Florida’s roads. For you, the driver, the minimum required coverage, if you are at-fault in an accident causing bodily injury, is 10/20/10 and $10,000 PIP ($10,000 bodily injury limit each person, $20,000 each accident and $10,000 property damage liability each accident and $10,000 personal injury protection). Hoping you are never the cause of an accident resulting in bodily injury and property damages while being minimumally insured, will not meet Florida’s Financial Resonsibility Law if it actually happens!
We recommend you call and speak with a licensed insurance agent about your auto policy to ensure you are being properly insured and have adequate coverage based on your situation; it will only take a few minutes, but can potentially save you thousands.
If you have any questions about this topic, or any other insurance questions, give us a call at Avalon Insurance Group, Inc., our licensed Agents are happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website at www.flhsmv.gov.
Written by Linda M. Frania