Florida Car Insurance
Drivers in the Sunshine State should know
It is illegal to drive motor vehicles without proper proof of the vehicle’s insurance in the state of Florida. The motor vehicle owners in Florida must be able to furnish relevant documents that prove that they have insurance that meets the minimum requirements of the State laws. The minimum qualifications as per the “Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles” are the possession of Property damage liability insurance (PDL) and the property injury protection (PIP)
You do not want to get caught without proper documents while driving in Florida as they have strict penalties and laws against it.
The penalties can be as minimal as paying a fine or getting imprisonment of up to 6 months and more.
Florida Car Insurance Laws
Driving cars in Florida without any vehicle insurance is illegal. Even if it weren’t illegal, why would anyone drive a car without insurance? That’s just stupid, your car insurance pays for any damage (if you get into an accident) dealt with your vehicle and also covers your medical cost. Why would anyone ignore that?
The Florida car insurance law states that your car insurance will pay you regardless of whether you caused the accident or vice-versa (that does not mean, you can go around hitting everybody).
The state of Florida’s minimum coverage for Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP) is $10,000, and that of Property Damage Liability Insurance (PDL) is $10,000. However, is only applicable if you have a valid license plate under the state of Florida.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance
The personal injury protection insurance is not only meant for covering up your medical expenses in case of an accident but also serves as insurance on several other crucial situations. These include –
- Insurance against your children riding on a school bus
- Insurance against all your other family members driving
- Insurance against yourself; if you are the victim of a car accident (bicyclist or a pedestrian)
- Insurance against your fellow passengers in your car regardless of whether they have their PIP insurance or not
Property Damage Liability (PDL) Insurance
The property damage liability insurance (PDL) covers up all the expenses for causing damage to any property as a result of the accident.
Florida DUI (Driving Under the Influence)/DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) Laws
The Florida car laws clearly state that an alcohol level of more than 0.08% is considered as Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Once your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) exceeds a minimal percentage, there are significant consequences. Aside from Alcohol, the Florida DUI laws also strictly prohibit driving under the influence of various substances such as cocaine, inhalants or marijuana.
If found driving under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicants, you will be penalized according to the severity of your situation. The penalties can vary as follows-
Florida’s DUI Penalties for first conviction:
- Fines of $250 – $500
- 50 hours of Community service
- A Probation period for not more than a year
- Up to 6 months of imprisonment
- Up to 9 months of imprisonment with BAC of more than 0.08% with a minor in the car
- 12 hours of DUI School
- License Revocation for up to 180 days
Florida’s DUI Penalties for second conviction:
- Impoundment of the vehicle for up to 30 days
- Up to 9 months of jail time
- Up to 12 months of jail time if the BAC level is above 0.15% with a minor in the vehicle
- Fines of $1,000 – $2000
- A minimum fine of $2,000 if the BAC level is more than 0.15% and a minor in the car, the penalty can go up to $4,000
- License Revocation/ suspension up to 180 days – 1 year if the license is more than five years
- License Revocation/ suspension up to 5 years if the license is less than five years
In addition to the severe consequences, the Florida DUI law also states that any driver with second conviction will have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles for monitoring and tracking purpose.
The Florida car Insurance law also mandates that your insurance company notify them in case your insurance policy is canceled (for whatever reason). Once your insurance policy becomes invalid in the DHSMV file, you will be told with an ultimatum to review or produce a new car insurance policy. If you can do that and submit a valid insurance proof, no actions will be taken. However, if you fail to produce any credible evidence of your current car insurance before the deadline, your driver’s license, registration, and plates will be seized and suspended.
Although you can reinstate all of these will necessary actions, it’s too much of a hassle to get it back. Instead, avoid this situation by keeping your car insurance documents proof and validity with you all times.
To reinstate your license and other relevant documents, you will have to produce a valid proof of the car insurance approved by the State of Florida and also pay a fine of-
- First offense – $150
- Second offense – $250
- $500 for every offense after
Florida SR-22 Insurance Documents
The Florida SR – 22 insurance document is required for those who have been convicted for driving without any vehicle insurance. This situation may arise in cases where your driving license has been suspended due to multiple violations or if your license suspension has been lifted. The document is usually required to be carried for three years in the above-mentioned situations.
Your insurance company can electronically file the SR – 22 documents to the state of Florida, and you are required to show valid car liability insurance whenever needed.
The SR – 22 document is quite costly. You will have to carry a 6-month non-cancelable SR-22 document if you are found guilty for driving without proper insurance documents. You will need to pay the entire premium rate up front for a 6-month non-cancelable SR-22 document.