Florida is one of the few states in the U.S. that requires drivers to carry no-fault insurance. Florida no-fault insurance is a form of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that covers drivers, passengers and pedestrians regardless of whether or not their negligence or actions played a part in the accident.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, “all owner/registrants of a motor vehicle with four wheels or more [must] carry a minimum of $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL).” If you allow this coverage to lapse, or if you never obtain it at all, you can be cited for failing to maintain financial responsibility.
The complexities of Florida No-Fault Insurance Law can be confusing. This is largely because it is applied differently depending on the situation. Since all vehicle owners must carry PIP insurance, it is not necessarily the driver’s coverage that is used to cover damages after an accident.
For example, let’s say you don’t own a car, but you’re driving your brother’s truck to run an errand. If you are injured in an accident, it would be your brother’s PIP insurance that would cover your injuries. However, if you do own a vehicle (and therefore carry your own Florida no-fault insurance policy), it would be your coverage that would activate.
Essentially, the purpose of PIP insurance coverage is to limit the damages an injured party can claim against the person who caused an auto accident. Because you carry no-fault Insurance, you don’t have to sue the other party’s insurance company to take care of medical bills and other resulting damages.
Unlike other types of auto insurance, Florida no-fault insurance follows the driver (as well as passengers and pedestrians) rather than the car, unless one of the people involved does not have it himself. Children, for example, will not have their own PIP insurance coverage, so they will be covered under the policy of the driver in whose car they were riding.
Florida residents who live at least 90 days out of the year in the state are required to carry PIP insurance on their vehicles. It is also required of any driver whose car is registered in the state.
Keep in mind that Florida no-fault insurance does not apply to property damage, though you are required to carry property damage liability insurance. PIP insurance only protects people who are injured in auto accidents; it covers damages such as medical bills, lost wages and similar expenses.
It is also important to note that $10,000 is only the minimum requirement for PIP insurance coverage in Florida. Drivers are free to purchase additional coverage if they find it prudent, and it’s a good idea if you don’t have sufficient money in the bank to cover serious injuries if you are ever in an accident.