Florida is a busy place all year round, with plenty of traffic comprised of both locals and visitors. Unfortunately, this often leads to many accidents occurring throughout the state that cause significant injuries or fatalities. It is important to understand that in Florida, drivers must have insurance in order to remain legal on the roadway. However, Florida is one of a few “no-fault” car insurance states across the country. Here, we want to discuss what this means and what the insurance minimums are for drivers in this state.
Understanding No-Fault Insurance
Currently, there are 12 states in the US that operate under a “no-fault” insurance system, and Florida is one of those states. This means that in the event an accident occurs, each driver will turn to their own auto insurer to cover the accident expenses, regardless of who was at fault. There are some exceptions in the Florida auto insurance laws that allow a person to sue for damages from the other party, including cases of catastrophic injury or when the accident causes a certain amount of monetary damages.
The Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements for Florida
When examining the minimum insurance requirements that drivers must-have in Florida, these numbers and types of coverage will look a little bit different than they do in other states because of the “no-fault” system. In Florida, drivers must have the following:
- Property Damage Coverage: $10,000 per accident
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $10,000
How Often Do Accidents Occur in Florida?
When we look at the data provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, we can see that there were more than 403,000 total traffic collisions reported during the latest year across the state. Out of these incidents, there were 3,135 fatalities reported, and more than 236,000 injuries reported. Unfortunately, those who survive car accidents are often left with severe injuries that require extensive medical care. State authorities reported that nearly 20,000 people during that same reporting year suffered from incapacitating injuries as a result of the car accident they were involved in.
Do Florida’s Required Minimums Provide Enough Coverage?
When you look at the minimum car insurance requirements for Florida, these numbers do look quite low. The reality is that low minimum coverage may not be enough to adequately cover most costs related to a car accident. This could leave an accident victim having to cover the additional expenses themselves.
Consider that drivers may also file a lawsuit against other drivers for any injuries that exceed the cost of their PIP insurance coverage or that are catastrophic in nature. If you cause an accident and another driver files a lawsuit against you for damages exceeding their PIP, and you are only carrying the minimum required insurance in Florida, you could be on the line for damages claimed by the other driver.
When looking at the property damage covered requirements, $10,000 may not be enough coverage in the event you are driving a newer or high-end vehicle. Under the minimums, the most your insurance carrier will pay out for property damage in a single accident is going to be the $10,000 limit. It is strongly recommended that drivers purchase higher insurance limits to cover potential property damage caused by an accident.