Florida’s motorcycle insurance requirements are complicated. Technically, most Florida motorcyclists do not have to carry insurance.
But, as a practical matter, many Sunshine State bikers have no choice but to carry accident liability insurance, and some must carry medical benefits coverage. Our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident attorneys explain how it works.
Two Types of Motorcycle Insurance That Can Be Required in Florida
Motorcycle insurance can include a variety of coverages that protect the biker, the bike, and other persons injured in a wreck. Only two types of insurance can be required for some motorcyclists under Florida law: accident liability insurance and medical benefits insurance.
Motorcycle Accident Liability Insurance in Florida
Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law requires anyone who owns or operates a motor vehicle — which includes a motorcycle — in the State to have and be able to prove at all times, the ability to cover a minimum amount of financial liability for causing death, bodily injury, or property damage to someone else in an accident.
Specifically, they must be able to pay at least $10,000 in damages for bodily injury to or the death of one person in a crash; at least $20,000 in damages for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in a crash; and $10,000 in property damages in a crash.
Florida motorcyclists have three ways to prove their financial ability to cover those minimum liability amounts. They can:
- Purchase motorcycle accident liability insurance;
- Obtain a certificate of self-insurance from the State by depositing at least $30,000 in a bank account set aside for paying their potential motorcycle accident liability or
- Obtain a certificate of self-insurance from the State by filing an application with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles showing that they have, and will continue to have, a net worth high enough to pay at least $40,000 in accident liability out of their pockets at any time.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, most Florida motorcyclists choose the first option. Buying motorcycle accident liability insurance is often the only way for them to comply with the Financial Responsibility Law, and regardless, it’s usually the most convenient.
Medical Benefits Insurance for Florida Motorcyclists
Florida law requires anyone over age 21 who rides a motorcycle without a helmet to carry at least $10,000 in medical benefits insurance to cover the cost of injuries they might suffer in a wreck (All riders under 21 must wear a helmet).
This insurance could take various forms. It might consist of the biker’s health insurance if that policy covers at least $10,000 for accident-related medical care. Or it could be coverage purchased as an add-on to a motorcycle insurance policy, such as medical payments (“Med-Pay”) coverage or personal injury protection (PIP or “no-fault”) coverage.
The un-helmeted rider insurance requirement stands out as an exception to the general rule that Florida motorcyclists are exempt from the State’s no-fault auto insurance laws.
All drivers of cars and trucks in Florida must carry PIP coverage that covers injuries to themselves and their passengers in an accident, regardless of who was at fault. Unless drivers or passengers sustain especially severe or fatal injuries in a crash and exhaust their PIP benefits, they cannot sue an at-fault driver for their losses.
The no-fault rule does not apply to most Florida motorcyclists. If a biker sustains injuries in a wreck caused by someone else, they can usually sue that at-fault party for damages straight away. That is unless they choose to ride without a helmet, in which case they usually must turn to their own medical benefits coverage first before seeking compensation from others.
Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact a Lawyer at Eltringham Law Group in Florida
If you or a loved one sustained injuries as a biker in a Florida motorcycle accident, there’s a good chance insurance coverage will play some role in compensating you for your losses.
However, securing money from an insurer or their policyholder is rarely easy. The most reliable way to do it is to hire a skilled motorcycle accident injury lawyer to handle your claim.
The lawyers at Eltringham Law Group in Fort Lauderdale can help. We represent injured Florida motorcyclists and their loved ones, fighting to get them the compensation they deserve after an accident. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
FAQs About Motorcycle Insurance in Florida
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions we get about insurance from Florida motorcycle accident victims and their loved ones. Contact us today for answers to inquiries specific to your case.
Do I have to meet Florida motorcycle insurance requirements if I’m a non-resident?
Generally, no, but you likely have to comply with your home state’s insurance requirements.
Also, if you accept employment or enroll your child in a public school in Florida, even if you remain a non-resident, you must register your motorcycle here and meet any applicable insurance requirements within 10 days of doing so.
What happens to a motorcyclist who does not comply with Florida insurance requirements?
Failure to comply with motorcycle insurance requirements in Florida can result in suspension of the motorcycle’s registration and the rider’s operator license. It can also constitute a criminal misdemeanor punishable by a fine or term of incarceration.
Should I accept a settlement from an at-fault driver’s insurance company after my motorcycle accident?
We encourage you to wait until you’ve talked to the team at Eltringham Law Group. Any offer may fall short of what you deserve to receive, and a skilled lawyer can often get you more by handling insurance negotiations on your behalf.