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12/18/2017
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Florida Auto Insurance Requirements
by Doug Cohen

The State of Florida requires all carswith four or more wheels maintain Florida Auto Insurance coverage. Toregister your car you must have proof of Florida coverage. The minimum requirement is $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL). If you have been involved in a car crash or convicted of certain offenses, the Florida Department of Motor Vehiclescan request that you purchase additional auto insurance coverage such as bodily injury liability coverage (BIL). Read morebelow fordetails, helpful tips, information, and definitionswith tips andadvice on auto insurance in Florida.

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How to Find the BestAuto Insurance Rates in Florida

It is very important to comparison shopfor the best coverage at the lowest rates for Florida Auto Insurance. There are many online resources thatprovide free quotes fromlicensed Florida insurance companypolicies and are approved by the Florida DMV. If you think you may be paying too much for auto insurance, residents of Florida can save time and money by comparing car insurance quotes quickly and anonymously between top name Florida auto insurance carriers simply by logging on to InstantCarInsurance.com.The State of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requiresminimum auto insurance coverage(of bodily injury liability of $10,000 per person, $20,000 per crash, $10,000 property damage liability, per crash, and personal injury protection limits of $10,000 per person per crash, and) at least $10,000 property damage liability (PDL) as long as you have a valid Florida car tag and car registration. Keep this in mind when shopping for basic coverage and evaluate it against car insurance quotes with higher coverage for a little more money. The cheapest car insurance is not always the best car insurance.Bear in mind, there were 42,642 people who died last year in car crashes and230 children were killed from being backed over, run over by cars that rolled out of park, or other means.

Specifically, what type of auto insurance isrequired at the time of an accident from a person causing a crash?

Whether you live in Jacksonville, Miami,Tampa St. Petersburg, Orlando, Hialeah, Fort Lauderdale or Tallahassee, Florida has a Financial Responsibility Law that requiresany person at fault in a crash resulting in bodily injury and property damage to others must have in effect at the time of the crash full liability insurance coverage. This coverage includes minimum limits of bodily injury liability of $10,000 per person, $20,000 per crash, $10,000 property damage liability per crash, and personal injury protection limits of $10,000 per person per crash.

What is "Property Damage Liability" (PDL) insurance?

This auto insurance coverage pays for damages you or members of your family cause (and are liable for) to other people's property froma car crash.

What is " Bodily Injury Liability" (BIL) insurance?

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles defines Bodily Injury Liability as coverage which pays for serious and permanent injury or death to others when you cause a crashinvolving your automobile. Your insurance company will pay for injuries up to the limits of your policy and provide legal representation for you if you get sued. In particular, your company pays for injuries caused by you or members of your family who live with you, even if they were driving someone else's car. It may also cover others who drive your automobile with your permission. This coverage also provides you with legal defense in the event you are sued by the injured party. Read yourFloridaauto insurance policy carefully forcomplete details.

What is meant by "Florida Coverage"?

Florida coverage is an auto insurance policy delivered or issued for delivery in Florida by an insurance company licensed by the Florida Department of Insurance.

Can I maintain my current policy issued in my previous state of residence?

No. The minimum required insurance must be issued through a Floridainsurance company licensed to sell in Florida. Be sure to have valid Florida Coveragewhen you go to register a vehicle in Florida. InstantCarInsurance.com can help provide you with multiple quotes instantly from Florida insurance companies which you can also buy online. In order to get the best coverage at the lowest price it is important to comparison shop your car insurance. But be sure to read the policy and know what you are buying because the cheapest car insurance is not always the best car insurance.

What if I fail to keep insurance on my car that I have registered in Florida?

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is authorized to suspend your driving privilege, including your car tag and auto registration, for up to three years or until proof of Florida auto insurance is provided, whichever is first.

If my driving privilege is suspended because I am not properly insured, is there a penalty to reinstate my license?

Yes. A reinstatement fee of $150 up to $500, for subsequent violations, must be paid and you must provide proof of current Florida auto insurance.

I live outside Florida for six months a year. When not in Florida, my car is in storage and not used. Must I maintain automobile insurance?

Yes. Any vehicle holding a valid Florida car tag and auto registration must be covered by a Florida auto insurance policy throughout the entire registration period. When you leave Florida, you may surrender your car's tag and auto registration at the nearest driver license or tag office to avoid maintaining your auto policy. You can always register your car upon your return to Florida, at which time you can again provide proof of Florida auto insurance which is easy to obtain here directly from InstantCarInsurance.com.

I am not a resident of Florida but I have business that keeps me in Florida sometimes for several months at a time. Must I comply with Florida's auto insurance laws?

Yes. Any person who has a car in Florida for more than 90 days during a 365-day period must purchase personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance coverage. By the way, the 90 days do not have to be consecutive.

I own multiple cars. Some are not used for different reasons, but the county I live in requires that the cars remain registered. Must I maintain auto insurance coverage on these cars?

Yes. Insurance coverage must be maintained throughout the entire car registration period, whether the car is used or not.

What can I do to avoid a driving privilege suspension when I choose not to insure a car?

To avoid a driving privilege suspension, surrender the car's tag and auto registration at any Florida driver license or tag office, prior to canceling your auto insurance policy.

If my driving privilege is suspended for havingno auto insurance, will I be granted a temporary driver license for working purposes?

No. There is no provision in Florida's motor vehicle insurance laws for the issuance of any sort of temporary or restricted driver license for financial responsibility suspensions. So be sure you return quickly to InstantCarInsurance.com if your auto insurance policy has lapsed and cannot be reinstated, or if you have been driving with no car insurance.This way you get back on track with your coverage immediately and return to compliance.It's simple, easy, fast, and a great way to lower your bills.

I am self-employed as a taxi driver and the onlycar I own is registered as a taxicab. Must I carry automobile insurance?

Yes. You must carry Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) coverage of $125,000 per person, $250,000 per occurrence and $50,000 for property damage liability (PDL) coverage.

What should I do if I am involved in an automobile crash?

Always insist that the crash be reported to law enforcement so that a law enforcement officer can complete the appropriate forms. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles advises you not to negotiate a payment agreement with the other parties to settle damages. Doing it on your own without a crash report from a law enforcement officer could result in your not being fully compensated for damages and can expose you to personal liability since no official report of the crash exists and circumstances become your word against theirs. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will be unable to assist you if there is no crash report filled out by a law enforcement officer. Other suggestions include:

  • Make sure the investigating officer records complete auto insurance information on the crash report.
  • Report the crash to your auto insurance company immediately or within the time specified by your auto insurance policy.
  • If you determine that the other party is insured or uninsured, you should report the information to your auto insurance company so that they can pursue compensation since they have more information resources at their disposal.
  • Never personally confront an at-fault party with demands as you may be dealing with a violent person. Allow your car insurance company to handle that.

What if I am unable to contact my auto insurance companyto represent me and determine the at-fault party is insured or uninsured?

You should obtain a copy of the final crash report and forward it to:

Bureau of Financial Responsibility
Neil Kirkman Building, Room A212, MS-98
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0585.

Request that the bureau process the crash. If the car insurance company listed on the crash report has denied coverage, obtain a written letter of denial and attach to the report when mailing to the Florida Bureau of Financial Responsibility.

If you have been involved in a crash and desire the car insurance coverage for the other party, you may obtain the information by mailing your request to:

Bureau of Financial Responsibility
2900 Apalachee Parkway, Room A212, MS-98
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0585.

You must include a copy of the complete car crash report, front and back, or the driver exchange form. These forms will provide the department with the necessary information needed to expedite your request. You may fax the car crash report to the bureau at 850-488-7444. They recommend that you please allow ten working days for research and reply.

How to get a copy of a crash report?

Crash reports may be obtained from the localFlorida Highway Patrol Station that is closest to where the crash occurred. Crash reports are kept in the local districts for 2 years from the date of crash. Homicide reports are kept in the local districts for 5 years from the date of crash. To order a crash report ($2.00) older than 2 years, call (850) 617-3416. To order a traffic homicide report ($25.00) older than 5 years, call (850) 617-2306. To order traffic homicide photographs, call (850) 617-3409. Photographs are $1.00 for 5"x7" or $1.50 for 8"x10". NOTE: When requesting photographs, have at least two of the following pieces of information available when you place your request: Date of Crash, County of Crash, Name of Fatality Victim, Traffic Homicide Case Number.

What will be required of the at-fault owner-operator when the car crash report is processed and does it depend on where you live?

Whether you live in Jacksonville, Miami,Tampa St. Petersburg, Orlando, Hialeah, Fort Lauderdale or Tallahassee, in crashes involving property damages and bodily injuries, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will mail an inquiry to the owner-operator requesting they provideproof of bodily injury and property damage liability coverage at the time of the crash. If they did not have this coverage, they must purchase this coverage and have it certified to the department on Form SR-22 for three years, this can be done quickly and easily at InstantCarInsurance.com, and obtain releases from the victims that they were compensated fully for their bodily injuries and or property damages.

The above requirements must be met before the suspension date in the inquiry notice to prevent the suspension of the owner's car tags and auto registrations, and the operator's driver license for three years, unless compliance is met earlier. In addition, a $15 reinstatement fee is required if compliance is met after suspension.

If I am approached by the at-fault party regarding releases, what should I do?

Settlements for damages are at your discretion. However, if you have been compensated by your auto insurance company for any damages or injuries sustained in the car crash, never sign a release or any document without consulting your car insurance company. When the car insurance company compensates you for your damages, they are vested with subrogation rights against the at-fault party. If you sign a release document you could be liable for monies paid to you by your auto insurance company.
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