If you drive a commercial truck in Florida, whether you carry property or passengers, it is important to meet the insurance requirements. Florida has stricter statutes regarding liability insurance than many other states.
If you fail to meet commercial truck insurance requirements in Florida, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, you could lose both your driver’s license and your vehicle registration for up to three years. Since the state keeps track of residents and insurance compliance, it is much easier to simply research the necessities and keep your policy up to date.
Florida Statute 627.4125 states that the commercial truck insurance requirements differ depending on the weight of the vehicle. For trucks weighing between 26,000 and 35,000 pounds, for example, drivers must carry at least $50,000 of coverage of “combined bodily liability insurance and property damage liability insurance.” That number describes the amount of coverage per occurrence rather than overall.
Trucks weighing 44,000 pounds or more, by contrast, must carry at Florida truck insurance of at least $300,000. This is a large discrepancy for seemingly small differences in weight, which is why accuracy is so important when purchasing commercial truck insurance. Failing to disclose the true gross weight of a vehicle can result in serious penalties.
The larger the truck, the more damage it can cause, which is why Florida commercial truck insurance requirements increase the required liability coverage for heavier vehicles. Owners often forget that an accident, for example, can involve more than one car, and therefore potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.
In Florida, both private and commercial trucks must be insured in the state if the vehicle is driven on Florida roads for at least 180 days out of the year. In other words, even if your business is based outside the state, you might still need to purchase Florida insurance. This does not mean the vehicle needs to be registered there.
Florida commercial truck owner/operators should also realize that the minimum insurance requirements are not always sufficient. If your insurance coverage is less than the expenses resulting from an accident or other claim, the owner of the policy will have to make up the difference.
Consider purchasing commercial truck insurance to cover problems other than accidents. For example, parts of Florida are prone to flooding, which means that all vehicles need to be covered should they be damaged by rising water. Talk to your insurance agent about both Florida commercial truck insurance requirements and the agency’s recommendations for safe operation.