Is Insurance Required for Motorcycle Riders in Florida?Jacksonville Accident News
While motorcycles have a large following of people who love to ride, they are nonetheless incredibly dangerous machines. The state of Florida is only second to the state of California for the most registered motorcycles in the nation. In 2019, Florida had 8,810 motorcycle accidents that resulted in 552 deaths. In 2020, the state only had slightly fewer motorcycle accidents at 8,043 with 551 deaths.
If you are interested in getting a motorcycle and hitting the road, it is important to understand the laws and guidelines of the state that you reside in. Floridians who drive a vehicle that has four or more wheels must have personal injury protection or PIP coverage. This type of coverage allows for $2,500 of medical expenses to be covered after a Florida car crash when filed within 14 days of the incident. If medical expenses come after an emergency, an injured party will be able to get $10,000 of medical expenses covered.
The same is not true for motorcyclists in the state. Those that drive motorcycles do not have access to PIP coverage. Even in situations where a person has a car that they have PIP coverage for, this same coverage will not be available to the individual if they are injured while riding on their motorcycle.
The implications of not having sufficient coverage can mean financial ruin if a catastrophic crash takes place. Given the fact that passengers on motorcycles overwhelmingly suffer greater harm and death after a crash than their passenger vehicle counterparts, these individuals are often faced with astronomical medical costs in the aftermath of their accident. Obtaining compensation for these damages is imperative, and the Jacksonville motorcycle accident attorneys at Sheftall Law can help.
What Type of Insurance Coverage Can Florida Motorcyclists Obtain?
A person who wants to buy a motorcycle in Florida is under no obligation to have insurance at the time of their purchase or when they register their bike. Still, it is unwise to go without coverage, which is why there are three options that a motorcyclist can choose from:
- Find an insurance carrier that offers liability insurance for motorcycles and purchase a plan.
- Obtain a Financial Responsibility Certificate.
- Show the Bureau of Financial Responsibility that the rider can qualify for a Florida Self-Insurance Certificate.
What Fault System Does Florida Follow For Crashes?
The state of Florida is a state that follows no-fault insurance laws. For no-fault states like Florida, when a crash happens, some medical expenses are covered regardless of who caused the crash.
With respect to motorcycles, though, the no-fault system is not applicable. So when a crash happens when a motorcycle is involved anywhere in Florida, a motorcycle accident victim must file a claim against the other party’s insurance who hit them. A successful claim will result in financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, missed wages, property damages, and potentially more.
Because a victim of a Florida motorcycle crash will need to make a claim against another party’s insurance, it is prudent for riders to also have uninsured motorist coverage. This insurance coverage is critical should a crash happen with a party who does not have insurance of their own.
Uninsured drivers are on the road, even though it is unlawful in Florida to operate an automobile without insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2019 there were one in eight or approximately 12.6% of all drivers that were on the road without insurance. Also that year, the state of Florida was recorded as one of the states with the highest number of uninsured drivers. In 2019 alone, Florida came in at number six in the nation for the most uninsured drivers with over 20% of drivers not carrying required insurance.
The chances of being hit by an uninsured motorist are quite high in Florida. Because the damages that result after motorcycle accidents are often so substantial, having the right financial protections is a wise choice. Without the right coverage, if an uninsured motorist hits you, you will be unable to file a claim with an insurance provider for the resulting costs when the provider does not exist.
What Happens When a Motorcyclist is Uninsured in Florida?
Like passenger vehicles, motorcyclists will face penalties for riding without insurance and causing an accident. First, there are the financial implications, which could be that a victim of an accident you cause sues you for compensation. Any wealth you do have may be taken from you to pay for their damages.
Additionally, an uninsured motorcyclist may also be burdened with the following actions:
- Your driver’s license may be suspended.
- Your motorcycles documentation including registration and tags could be suspended.
- You may be required to buy liability coverage for a three-year period of time.
This may be confusing and may not even make sense because you are not required to have coverage when you register your bike. Yet, this is the reality of riding your motorcycle without proper insurance coverage. So having insurance will save you money and actually be less expensive than what could result from taking the risk of having none and then being charged with causing a traffic accident in Florida.
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will record a motorcyclist’s insurance information. Despite this, a motorcyclist must still carry proof that they are insured. This can be in the form of:
- A physical, digital, or a picture of an insurance card.
- Be able to digitally show account information.
- Self-insurance certificate.
Speak to a Jacksonville Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
At the Law Offices of Sheftall & Associates, our Jacksonville personal injury attorneys can help victims of motorcycle accidents file injury claims for the most compensation possible. The Jacksonville car accident lawyers at Sheftall Law will examine your case, investigate it, and put a fair value on it that they will fight aggressively to recover.
Do not wait to call the Law Offices of Sheftall & Associates today to schedule a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation at (904) 638-7712.