Do You Need Motorcycle Insurance in Florida?
The Tampa Bay area continues to experience significant growth and if you are a new Florida resident from another state, you may be wondering about the insurance requirements for motorcyclists in the state of Florida.
Learn what is required for motorcyclists in the state of Florida from our personal injury attorneys at Mickey Keenan Law.
Florida Motorcycle Requirements are Unique
In most states, motorcycle insurance laws are like those for other motor vehicles — but not in Florida. Here, drivers of motor vehicles with four or more wheels are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of Florida’s no-fault insurance coverage blanket.
PIP coverage guarantees that any medical bills (up to $2,500) will be paid for as long as the claim is filed within 14 days. If the medical bills resulted from an emergency, PIP coverage will pay the full threshold of $10,000.
Injuries in a motorcycle accident are likely to be quite severe, and a motorcyclist is at greater risk of high financial costs following a serious crash, therefore, PIP coverage does not apply to motorcyclists.
Does Florida’s No-Fault Coverage Apply to Motorcycles?
Florida is a no-fault state, but these no-fault accident laws DO NOT apply to motorcycles. This means that if you are in a motorcycle accident, you must pursue compensation from the other driver’s insurance for any medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, or damage to your motorcycle.
Motorcycle Registration in Florida
Insurance requirements for motorcycles are based on the financial responsibility of the owner against liability. A motorcyclist is not required to carry insurance to register a motorcycle in the state of Florida, but the driver will be held financially responsible if charged in a motorcycle accident.
When moving to the state of Florida, you must start the process of registering your motorcycle upon establishing permanent residency in Florida—usually within 10 days.
You are considered a “Florida resident” if you:
- Establish a living address in the state
- Enroll your child in a Florida public school
- Have accepted and started a job in Florida
License Endorsements and Helmet Requirements
To complete your motorcycle registration, you will need to obtain a motorcycle endorsement for your Florida driver’s license. This verifies that you have the appropriate training to drive a motorcycle.
Florida’s helmet requirements and safety gear laws vary. The state had a universal helmet law for riders 21 or older, but it was repealed in 2000. Riders over 21 years old do not have to wear a helmet legally while riding a motorcycle or motorized scooter. Some people don’t wear them when out driving, but it is always best to always wear a helmet. Helmets and safety gear can help prevent serious injuries even in smaller accidents.
If you choose not to wear a helmet, you are legally required to carry at minimum $10,000 of Medical Payment Insurance.
Stay Safe > Motorcycle Rider Safety Tips
Florida Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Requirements
Motorcycles don’t have four wheels, therefore the requirements for insurance coverage are different. This is also why you cannot insure a motorcycle on the same policy as your other vehicles.
Motorcycle insurance requirements fall under an at-fault system and Florida bikers much carry at least:
- $10,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $20,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability insurance
- $10,000 medical payments coverage (motorcyclists cannot buy PIP insurance)
If you cause an accident, your motorcycle liability insurance coverage will pay for the injuries and property damage that was caused to the other party involved.
The average motorcyclist can benefit from carrying motorcycle insurance regardless of the requirement to carry it. Other coverage might prove instrumental to their safety out on the road as well.
Other Motorcycle Policy Options
If you carry basic motorcycle insurance, you may want to consider expanding your coverage to include:
Collision Insurance: This coverage pays for damages to your motorcycle if you are in an accident.
Comprehensive Insurance: If your motorcycle is damaged due to weather, theft, or vandalism, comprehensive coverage pays for those repairs.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: If another driver is at fault for your bike’s damage but they do not carry insurance or is underinsured, this coverage will help compensate you.
Gap Insurance: This is also known as loan payoff insurance and helps pay off the cost of your motorcycle in case of a total loss following an accident.
In many cases, a loan lender may require you to buy certain damage coverage with specific requirements to help safeguard their investment before it is paid off. Make sure to buy at least the coverage that your lender requires of you.
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Despite Florida’s no-fault rules for motorcycles, if you are in a motorcycle accident, you can still pursue compensation for any damages that you suffer due to the accident. To file a motorcycle accident lawsuit, you must have suffered severe damages and be able to prove the other party’s negligence.
Taking legal action for a motorcycle accident is best done with the assistance of an experienced accident attorney. At Mickey Keenan Law, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to get the settlement that you deserve after a life-changing motorcycle accident.
Call our accident attorneys at (813) 871-1300 for a free case evaluation today. Here, your family is our family.