Is Motorcycle Insurance Required in Florida?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2017 there were 89,000 motorcyclists injured and 5,172 fatalities in the United States. When crashes with motorcycles or any vehicle on the road insurance is there to help cover the costs associated with the damages, both property and personal injury. Every state in American has different regulations for car insurance and motorcycle insurance, which can prove confusing for those who move or travel between states.
Does Florida Require Residents to Carry Insurance?
Florida does not require proof of insurance to register a motorcycle, but make no mistake, you still are expected to have insurance. Florida Statute 324.021 states that every self-propelled vehicle that is designed and required to be licensed for use upon a highway is required to have the following minimum insurance:
- $10,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, one person in a crash;
- $20,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, two or more persons in a crash; and
- $10,000 because of injury to, or destruction of, property of others in a crash.
The easiest way to get this insurance is through a licensed Florida insurance carrier, but it is also possible to obtain a Self-Insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility. Florida Statute 324.171 states that an individual needs an unencumbered net worth that exceeds $40,000 to be eligible for a Self-Insurance Certificate.
Do I Need Additional Insurance If I Choose Not to Wear A Helmet?
In 2000, with Florida Statute 316.211, Florida made it legal for motorcycle riders over the age of 21 to ride without a helmet under the condition that they held additional insurance. Any driver or passenger of a motorcycle who chooses not to wear a helmet must carry an additional $10,000 in medical coverage insurance. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance that is available to car drivers does not apply for motorcycles and does not count towards the medical coverage insurance minimum. The medical coverage could be health insurance, but some health insurance policies exclude motorcycles, so it is important to verify whether your specific policy applies.
The Consequences of Not Being Insured
Yes, it is possible to drive a motorcycle without insurance in Florida but it is ill-advised. If you are involved in a crash with injuries and you are found at-fault, you could face a civil lawsuit. Florida can also suspend your driver’s license or suspend your registration and tags for the motorcycle. Furthermore, if a motorcyclist has been involved in a crash involving injuries and motor vehicle violations Florida will require that driver to purchase bodily injury and property damage liability insurance for the three years that follow the crash in order to register their motorcycle.
Factors that Influence the Cost of Insurance
- Driving record;
- The type of motorcycle you own;
- How old the motorcycle is;
- Where you store your motorcycle; and
- How many miles you ride each year.
Showing Proof of Insurance
Motorcyclists in Florida are expected to carry proof of insurance with them each time they ride. While the DMV may have records of your insurance coverage, proof of insurance helps the police in the event that they need to pull you over or help at the scene of a crash you are involved in. To show proof you could do any of the following:
- Carry your insurance card with you;
- Be able to access your insurance plan through a website;
- Have a digital copy of the insurance card on your phone; or
- Carry your self-insurance certificate with you.
Contact the Motorcycle Attorneys at Marc L. Shapiro, P.A.
Florida is an amazing place to ride a motorcycle because the weather is enjoyable most of the year and the coastal views are amazing. Furthermore, Florida is home to events such as Daytona Bike Week and Biketoberfest that bring together thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts. The important thing when riding in Florida is to ensure you are following the laws and that you are properly protected with adequate insurance in the event that you suffer a crash. If you or a loved one has been hit while riding your motorcycle and the collision was another party’s fault, they need to be held liable. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you file a claim to seek compensation for the damages. A Naples motorcycle accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. can evaluate your case. Simply call 239-649-8050 to schedule a free consultation today.