There is a lot of misinformation regarding Florida’s insurance requirements for motorcycles. Is it required? Do you get PIP benefits? How much should insurance should you carry? Are the aftermarket modifications to your motorcycle covered? Should I get uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage? I will address each of these issues in this article.
Do I Have to Have Insurance on My Motorcycle?
There is a myth among Florida motorcyclists that they are not required to carry insurance on their motorcycles. This leads to some very unfortunate results. In Florida, you cannot register your car without providing proof of insurance. Motorcycles do not have the same requirements, but the driver is held financially responsible if they cause an accident. If the damages are not immediately paid then the motorcyclist’s driver’s license will be suspended until the damages are paid. A motorcycle has three options to comply with Florida law:
- Purchase a liability insurance policy from a licensed Florida insurance carrier.
- Obtain a Financial Responsibility Certificate. In this option the motorcyclist must post a bond with a licensed Florida bonding company and depositing cash or securities with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
- Obtain a Self-Insurance Certificate from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles by providing evidence of unencumbered net worth.
Do Motorcycle Insurance Policies Have PIP Coverage?
PIP insurance is the reason people refer to Florida as a no-fault state. Every insurance policy provides the driver $10,000.00 in immediate coverage for payment of medical bills. When you are injured in a car accident or motorcycle accident regardless of fault, your own insurance company will immediately begin processing medical bills on your behalf. The goal was to reduce out of pocket expenses for the driver instead of having medical bills pile up and potentially ruining your credit. Motorcycle policies, however, are exempted from the PIP statute. This means that your policy will not pay the medical providers unless you purchase an additional Med Pay coverage.
How Much Insurance Coverage Should Motorcyclists Carry
I have clients come and proudly tell me they have “full coverage” insurance. And truthfully, they are doing better than most Floridians. But full coverage is by no means complete coverage. The list below is by no means complete, but several of the coverages are important to many people and there is one that should be important to everyone and that one coverage is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This is the most important additional insurance you can purchase. When you purchased your full coverage policy, you thought you were being covered in every contingency, but the vast majority of Floridians do not have insurance or have not purchased enough insurance to compensate you in the event they seriously injure you in a car or motorcycle accident. That is where the UM coverage comes in to play. It picks up the slack left by others and provides compensation for your injuries above and beyond the at-fault driver’s liability limits up to the limit you have chosen.
Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage
At Jones Law Group we represent many motorcyclists and car enthusiasts who have spent countless hours and significant sums of money to modify their rides. Without this coverage, those custom parts and equipment packages are not reimbursed by the insurance company. The motorcycle with the custom powder coating and LED lighting is valued like the stock model she used to be.
Medical Payments Coverage
This coverage will provide payments directly to the medical providers for injuries suffered by you, the passengers in your vehicle or any pedestrians you may injure. It is supplemental coverage to your health insurance. It covers medical payments such as health insurance deductibles and co-pays, visits to a doctor or hospital, X-rays and surgery, ambulance and emergency medical technician fees, rehabilitation and nursing care, and some medical equipment, such as prostheses. The coverage takes effect regardless of which driver is considered at fault for the accident
Florida Minimum Policy Limits
Florida also has the lowest insurance minimums in the entire country at 10/20. Meaning that no matter what your injuries may be, the insurance company will only pay you $10,000.00 for your injuries. This makes uninsured motorist coverage one of the most important coverages which all motorcyclists should purchase.
Too many times I have had to sit down with a client who was in a car accident or motorcycle accident with an uninsured driver and tell them we cannot sue the driver that caused the accident. The next question invariably is, “why can’t we sue the driver that caused my accident?” The answer is of course we can sue the driver that caused the accident. The issue is that it is just not generally practical because Florida law protects debtors. Personal injury cases are expensive to try and if someone is hit with a large judgment…they usually just file bankruptcy and all of the time, effort, and money to obtain that judgment is wasted.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Lawyer at Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured in a motorcycle accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorney at Jones Law Group today. At Jones Law Group, we will run an asset search on the uninsured motorist that caused your injuries to ensure they have no assets. It is a long shot, but we feel we need to exhaust every possible avenue of collection for our clients.
When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another, contact Jones Law Group immediately. Our dedicated team will thoroughly investigate the factors that led to your accident and aggressively seek compensation from each responsible party. For a free consultation, contact us online or by phone at 727-571-1333.