A study carried out by the Insurance Research Council has shown that one in four drivers in Florida does not have insurance. This makes Florida one of the five worst states for uninsured driving.
Floridians who drive without insurance do not just cause problems for themselves. Insurance policies often include coverage in case of an accident involving an uninsured motorist, which unnecessarily adds to the cost of insurance for everyone. Drivers involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist often end up having to claim large sums through their own insurance policy to cover the damage uninsured drivers often cannot afford to pay. Unlike some other states, Florida law enforcement do not routinely have access to the database of insured drivers held by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Having access could help officers clamp down on the significant number of offenders.
Your duty to be insured
Under Florida motor vehicle law, the registered owner of a vehicle is required to take out an insurance policy for personal injury protection coverage and property damage liability coverage, each for a minimum of $10,000. Drivers with a prior conviction for DUI are also required to have a minimum of $100,000 coverage for bodily injury and death.
The consequences for failing to be insured
Driving without insurance in Florida, a no-fault insurance state, can have a significant financial impact on you if you are involved in an accident. Having the mandatory insurance in place can protect you from having to face a lawsuit. Without insurance, you could be vulnerable to a lawsuit for negligence or recklessness. Should you or any of your passengers suffer injuries, you may not be able to cover the medical costs.
There are also administrative consequences. If you are uninsured, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend your license and registration, and will only reinstate it after you have paid a fee of $150. You must also provide proof that you have taken out a more comprehensive form of insurance for two years, and you may have to pay a fine of up to $500 for a non-moving traffic infraction.
Nobody plans to have an auto accident, but accidents happen too often for you to take the chance by not having proper coverage. Make sure you protect yourself and your family with car insurance coverage, and get in touch with a dedicated Sarasota auto accident attorney if anything unplanned happens.