In the state of Florida, if you own a vehicle with at least four wheels and are registering it, you must have Florida insurance. Any person who has a vehicle in Florida for more than 90 days during a 365-day period must purchase personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance coverage. Since it is required, if you’re a driver in Florida, it would be prudent to understand a few key elements of Florida’s auto insurance laws.
Florida is a “No-Fault” Car Insurance State
Florida is a “no-fault” car insurance state, as it relates to the payment of auto insurance claims after a car accident. In a no-fault state, drivers are required to carry auto insurance that pays personal injury protection, or PIP, benefits. PIP benefits in the policy pay for any medical expenses and certain non-medical-related costs when the policyholder suffers an accident. Non-medical-related costs could include lost wages or the costs of hiring someone to do household chores. These are known as “replacement benefits”.
Florida requires that all drivers carry minimum PIP benefits in their policies. Procedurally, when a crash occurs, each person involved in the crash turns to his or her own policy to pay the costs of medical care and other losses associated with the accident. These PIP benefits kick in regardless of who was at fault in the accident. By contrast, in an “at-fault” insurance state (also known as a “fault” or “tort liability” state), drivers have the choice to file claims with their own insurers, file claims with another driver’s insurer, or take the other driver to court to prove he or she was the one at fault.
Florida drivers can only step outside of the state’s no-fault system — and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver directly — if the injuries resulting from the accident are considered “permanent.” This includes but is not limited to significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
For more information on Florida Auto-Insurance, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 827-7777 today.