What Are the Insurance Requirements for Commercial Trucks in Florida?
December 22, 2023 | Sagi Shaked | Florida Law
In 2021, Florida ranked third among states with the most deaths resulting from large truck crashes, with a total of 373 deaths. Commercial trucks were involved in hundreds more non-fatal collisions, some of which involved major injuries. Accidents can be more prevalent in high-traffic areas, like in Miami and along the I-95 corridor.
Whether you are a commercial truck driver or a Sunshine State resident, it’s important to know the basics of truck insurance in Florida. To help, Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers has composed a guide to commercial truck insurance in Florida. Here’s what you need to know.
The Basics of Commercial Truck Insurance in Florida
Florida’s laws set distinct insurance mandates for commercial trucks, which differ from those for personal vehicles. For regular motorists, Florida law mandates Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, but not liability coverage. The threshold for commercial trucks varies based on the type of cargo:
- Household Goods: Minimum $300,000 liability coverage
- General Freight: Minimum $750,000 liability coverage
- Oil Transport: Minimum $1,000,000 liability coverage
- Hazardous Materials: Minimum $5,000,000 liability coverage
Truck drivers who operate across state lines also have to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) federal liability limits. These limits are usually set between $750,000 and $1,000,000 but can vary based on the type of cargo.
Florida Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements
Here is a rundown of the different Florida commercial truck insurance requirements:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP covers the driver regardless of fault and also pays injury-related expenses for anyone involved in the accident. Everyone needs PIP insurance in Florida, including private vehicle owners and commercial truck drivers.
Property Damage Liability
This coverage handles damages caused by the truck driver to another party’s vehicle and property. Again, all drivers in Florida need this coverage.
Bodily Injury Liability
This is crucial for covering serious, permanent injuries or fatalities caused by the truck driver. It also pays for legal defense if necessary.
Additional Truck Insurance in Florida
Beyond the basic requirements, trucking companies often opt for extra protections, such as:
- Medical Payments Coverage: Pays for medical expenses due to injuries caused by the accident
- Collision Coverage: Covers damages to the truck
- Towing and Labor Coverage: Assists with service costs
- Comprehensive Coverage: Pays for damage caused by theft, vandalism, or non-collision incidents
Each type of coverage is designed to help offset specific expenses that can result from an accident or other unfortunate event.
Filing a Truck Insurance Claim in Miami, FL
If you’ve been in a car accident that involved a commercial truck, it’s vital to find a lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you determine what to do next, evaluate your case, and file a claim on your behalf.
Lawyers will manage the entire process from start to finish, ensuring all necessary details and documentation are handled accurately. The goal is to settle the claim within the policy limits, as this will get your case resolved fast and help you get the funds you need.
I’ve Filed a Claim — What Now?
Staying in contact with your attorney is vital. They should reach out to you with updates. When they contact you, answer or call them back right away. Also, ensure that you provide any requested documentation as soon as possible.
The attorney will work to strike a settlement agreement, which will get your case resolved fast. However, if the other party is unwilling to do what’s right, your attorney may take the case to court.
Avoiding the Common Pitfalls Associated With Insurance
Knowing the ins and outs of insurance requirements for Florida commercial trucks can help you stay safe and exercise your rights. That said, insurance can be complicated, especially when a commercial truck is involved.
If you ever find yourself involved in a crash with a commercial truck, connect with a trusted lawyer who knows how to handle commercial vehicle cases so you can seek justice. You’ll be glad you did.