Whether you're a novice or an experienced motorcyclist, there's no denying that having proper insurance is vital. Please read our guide to learn more about motorcycle insurance in the state of Florida.
Motorcycle laws are different in Florida. Unlike other states, Florida residents are not required by the law to buy motorcycle insurance upon registration. Instead, they require riders to have proof of financial responsibility. Other than proof of financial responsibility, the state of Florida has other documents in place of motorcycle insurance.
In case of an accident, a motorcycle rider must compensate for the damages he sustained. Because of this law, Florida has a different way of regulating liabilities in a motorcycle accident. In this article, we will discuss these regulations.
Read on to know how motorcycle insurance can compensate for physical injuries if you are a car accident victim.
Why Is Florida Motorcycle Insurance Important?
Florida is a 'no-fault' state. This means that if an accident occurs, both drivers would need to turn to their own insurance company for compensation. But, before a driver can qualify for coverage, they need to have personal injury protection coverage or PIP coverage. If the motorcycle driver does not have this coverage in their insurance, they cannot cover their injuries.
The following are alternatives provided by Florida law in the case of an uninsured rider.
- Self-insurance certificate: The issuing body of this certificate is Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The department award this certificate to motorcycle riders who can compensate on their own. The primary requirement of this certificate is to have a net worth of $40,000.
- Financial Responsibility certificate: The FHMSV also issues this certificate. Before issuing, they would require the motorcyclist to provide a certificate of a $30,000 deposit. A power of attorney is also needed before issuing this certificate.
- Liability insurance: Getting liability insurance is the most brilliant move every rider can make. A liability insurance guarantees payment in a motorcycle accident. A liability coverage lessens the risk of deep financial loss.
Insurance is the best security a rider can get. This would ensure protection in a financial disaster.
How Much Should a Motorcycle Accident Insurance Cover?
If you decide to get insurance, you need to make sure that the insurance can sufficiently cover any liability damages. Florida law mandates a minimum amount required for every insured motorist.
- $10,000: Bodily injury liability amount for one person;
- $20,000: bodily injury liability amount for two persons;
- $10,000: Property damage liability coverage.
Florida law states that a motorist above 21 years of age can drive without wearing a helmet. However, this comes with a cost. Riding without protective headgear requires an additional $10,000 injury liability coverage. This type of coverage is categorized under MedPay or Medical Payments Coverage. MedPay also acts similar to PIP coverage.
Personal Injury Protection coverage pays for any bodily injuries caused by accident regardless of who's at fault.
What Are the Requirements for Motorcycle Insurance Coverage in Florida?
In order to register a motorcycle in Florida, a rider must prove that they can be liable for any accidents they cause. Getting motorcycle insurance in Florida is not a challenging task. A motorist can purchase motorcycle insurance from a licensed insurance provider in Florida. This is the most common way of getting motorcycle insurance with PIP coverage.
On the other hand, uninsured motorists who have a great net worth can get a self-insurance certificate. This means that the uninsured motorist won't turn to an insurance company if a motorcycle accident occurs. An insurer can offer you multiple insurance coverage. But, essentially, motorcycle insurance should have mandatory motorcycle accidents coverage.
Other requirements to drive a motorcycle in Florida differ for most cases. If the driver already has a registered Florida driver's license, they only need to obtain a motorcycle endorsement. If the motorcyclist doesn't have an existing license, they can get a 'Motorcycle Only' license.
Motorcycle riders with an existing license can get a motorcycle endorsement by providing the following requirements:
- Class E driver's license
- Completed Basic Rider Course (BRC)
After providing these requirements, the requesting rider will receive their endorsement from a licensing office. If they did not receive any confirmation within 1 year, they would need to resubmit a completed BRC.
Florida motorcycle riders without a license can get a 'Motor Only' license by providing these requirements:
- Pass a Class E driver knowledge test
- Completed Basic Rider Course
- If under 18, they should have an existing Learner's license for one year. They should also not have any traffic violations.
After completing these requirements, an unlicensed driver can get their 'Motor Only' license within 1 year from a state-licensed company.
Motorcycle Coverage Insurance You Can Purchase in Florida
Motorcycle insurance requirements in Florida are a bit different from those of a car driver. The minimum coverage requirement for Florida motorists must include injury and property damage coverage. This includes:
- $10,000 for bodily injury coverage of 1 person and $20,000 for two persons;
- $10,000 for property damage liability coverage;
- An additional $10,000 for personal injury protection when driving without a helmet.
Though these are the minimum motorcycle insurance requirements, it is still advisable if the rider expands his coverage. Other insurance coverages a motorcyclist can get are as follows:
- Collision coverage: In a motorcycle collision, this coverage will cover the damages in your vehicle. Collision coverage pays for the repairs needed to be done on your motorcycle. It also covers any replacements needed in your vehicle.
- Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage covers non-collision-related damages. If your motorcycle gets vandalized or destroyed because of bad weather, this coverage will pay for the repairs.
- Uninsured motorist coverage: This coverage is an expansion of bodily injury liability insurance. This is by far the most crucial coverage expansion you need to get. Uninsured motorist coverage pays for your damages if you get hit by an uninsured driver. Because of the non-requirement of insurance in Florida, most motorcyclists drive around without liability coverage. A rule of thumb is to get as much coverage as you can afford.
- Gap Insurance: A gap insurance helps you pay for your motorcycle loan in case of a total motorcycle loss. This coverage is also known as loan payoff insurance.
Penalties for Not Having Motorcycle Insurance in Florida
Florida might not be strict when it comes to motorcycle insurance. But, there are still consequences for a motorcyclist who can't be held responsible for the motorcycle accident he caused. An uninsured motorist should be financially responsible for any accident he might cause. Otherwise, he will face the following penalties:
- Total suspension of driving privileges;
- Suspension of motorcycle registration;
- The at-fault driver will need to buy the minimum required coverage for up to 3 years;
- If a driver damages property or a person, the victim can hold civil judgment against them.
In a nutshell, the inability to hold responsibility in an accident is a punishable crime.
Insurance Proof You Need to Carry When Riding a Motorcycle in Florida
The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles or Florida DMV registers your data after purchasing motorcycle insurance. Even if this information is included under your name, you still need to provide proof of your insurance. If you are required by a responding authority to produce proof of insurance, here are what you can show:
- A physical insurance card provided by the insurance company;
- A digital insurance car or a photo of your official insurance card;
- A screenshot of your account details in the insurance official webpage;
- A certificate of self-insurance released by the Bureau of Financial Responsibility.
Insured riders are required to carry insurance while driving around the state. This proof assures the authority that you have the capacity to pay for any damages you might cause while driving. If a rider cannot show any proof of insurance, they might face penalties.
Is Florida’s No-Fault Law Applicable to Motorcycles?
Despite Florida's 'no-fault- policy,' this rule does not apply to motorcycle accidents. This no-fault law only applies to vehicles with four wheels or more.
This means that a victim in a motorcycle accident can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. A victim can file a claim on economic damages such as lost wages or medical bills. You are also eligible to seek non-physical damages such as emotional distress.
If you are the victim of a motorcycle accident, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. But, you can also use your motorcycle insurance policy if you have PIP coverage. If you are at fault in a motorcycle crash, you can use your PIP coverage to pay the victim for any damages you incurred.
How Much Insurance Do I Need If I Don’t Wear a Helmet?
Riding without a helmet in Florida is punishable in certain situations. Florida helmet law states that motorcycle riders above 21 years of age can drive without a helmet. But, they should be able to prove that they have $10,000 personal injury coverage for riding without a helmet.
Driving without a helmet is a personal decision. An insurance carrier with enough coverage has the legal right not to wear a helmet. But, it is important to keep in mind that wearing a helmet is a form of protection.
Not wearing protective headgear can cause serious injuries when involved in a motorcycle crash. This can cause serious brain damage or a traumatic brain injury for individuals without sufficient head protection.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact an Experienced Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents are often more severe as compared to car accidents. This is because a motorcycle doesn't offer the same amount of protection as passenger vehicles. Worst-case scenario, you get hit by an uninsured motorist. Fighting for your claim can be a long and hard battle.
Even if the other driver has insurance coverage, insurance companies might still downplay your situation. They do this so they won't spend a lot of money on your injuries.
In this case, you would need to seek the help of an expert Motorcycle accident attorney. At The Soffer Firm Miami Personal Injury Attorneys, we have the finest motorcycle accident attorney handling your case. Our lawyer is an expert in motorcycle insurance laws and he knows the best way to represent his clients. Our law firm has long-standing years of successful client representation in a motorcycle accident.
If you see yourself struggling in this situation, call our law firm at (786) 788-7344. You may also fill out this form for a free consultation. We know the challenges you are facing right now and we are always ready to help you.