Do I Need Florida Motorcycle Insurance?
September 13, 2022 | Sagi Shaked
Motorcycles give their riders a feeling of autonomy and freedom that passenger vehicles cannot provide. Because the State of Florida offers beautiful vistas and warm weather, it’s an ideal place for motorcyclists to ride.
However, motorcycle accidents are unpredictable and often have dangerous consequences. If you have or are planning to purchase a motorcycle in Florida, you may have questions about what you should do in the event of an accident. Specifically, many motorists wonder if they’re required to hold motorcycle insurance in the state.
The laws regarding motorcycle insurance can be complex and confusing. To fully understand your rights and obligations as a motorcyclist in Florida, it’s recommended that you speak with a knowledgeable legal professional.
Does Personal Insurance Protection Insurance (PIP) Apply to Motorcycles?
Most states have similar laws regarding motorcycle insurance coverage. Florida’s laws, however, are quite different from those in other parts of the country. Florida is one of the minority of states that is considered a “no-fault” state for car insurance.
Drivers of most four-wheeled vehicles, including cars, in Florida must purchase “no-fault” coverage in the form of personal injury protection (PIP). This type of insurance coverage ensures that claimants will receive compensation regardless of who was at fault.
However, coverage of this sort is not available for owners of motorcycles in Florida. PIP coverage for passenger vehicles will not cover policyholders when they are riding their motorcycles.
This leaves motorcyclists financially vulnerable in the wake of a collision or other accident. And motorcycle accidents are particularly likely to result in skyrocketing medical bills and personal losses.
Do I Need Motorcycle Insurance in Florida?
You are not required to hold insurance coverage at the time of vehicle registration in Florida. That means you can legally operate a motorcycle without insurance, though choosing to ride without insurance can leave you vulnerable to significant financial losses in the event of an accident or injury.
Motorcycle owners are therefore advised to select one of three possible financial coverage options:
Financial Responsibility Certificates
With this option, motorcyclists must secure a surety bond through a licensed company in the state. Then, the applicant is required to offer cash or securities to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
These certificates can be acquired from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility.
To secure this type of coverage, motorcyclists must provide proof of unencumbered capital. That is, you must show that you have enough money to cover the damages that might result from an accident or injury.
Liability Motorcycle Insurance
This is the most common way that motorcyclists in the state of Florida meet their financial responsibility. Automotive liability coverage will ensure that you are financially protected if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident or receive injuries as a result of one.
While motorcyclists are not legally required to hold liability insurance, most do. If you have questions about the best way to ensure liability coverage, reach out to a knowledgeable Florida attorney.
Penalties for Lack of Coverage
Although Florida motorcyclists aren’t required to carry insurance, they must meet their financial obligations when an accident occurs. Failing to do so can result in serious legal penalties.
Suppose that you’re found to be responsible for a motorcycle accident. In this case, you’d be financially liable for any resulting property damage or costs from physical injuries.
If you can’t meet your obligations after an accident you caused, you may face the following consequences:
- Suspension of your driving privileges
- Suspension of your motorcycle tags and registration
- Mandatory purchase of liability insurance for three years
- Civil claims against you
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in the State of Florida, it’s normal to feel confused and overwhelmed, especially if you weren’t carrying liability insurance at the time. Reach out to an experienced Florida attorney to explore your options and ensure that your legal bases are covered.