The Florida Senate is reviewing proposed legislation that contains significant changes to car insurance requirements in the state. If signed into law, the new regulations would replace Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system with a bodily injury system.
Currently, Florida’s no-fault law for motor vehicle accidents allows parties involved in an accident to file claims directly with their insurance agency, regardless of who was responsible for the accident. It requires Florida drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) to pay for injuries sustained in an accident, lost wages, and other expenses related to the accident.
Legislators behind Senate Bill 54 who support changing the system argue that fraudulent claims are a problem under the existing no-fault law. Some supporters also claim the $10,000 coverage limit is outdated and insufficient in today’s world. Opponents of the bill have expressed concern that insurance rates would rise and higher rates could price out low-income drivers.
The new bill would eliminate required PIP coverage and instead require drivers to carry bodily injury (BI) liability coverage which would payout up to $25,000 for injury or death caused to another person or up to $50,000 for injury or death in a crash involving two or more people. Drivers would also need to purchase coverage for $10,000 in property damage. Insurance companies would be required to provide medical payment coverage with either $5,000 or $10,000 limits.
Car Insurance Coverage in Florida
There were 403,626 motor vehicle crashes with 255,353 injuries on Florida roads in 2018, according to the most recent data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Knowing those numbers and the impact a car crash can have on a family, drivers must understand the types of insurance available to cover personal injury and property damage when an accident happens.
As we mentioned above, some types of car insurance coverage are required by Florida law. Having just the minimum amount of coverage may not be enough to cover all damages in the unfortunate event of a car crash. Depending on your budget, you may consider increasing coverage to help handle unforeseen situations and uninsured motorists.
Here are the types of Florida car insurance that are currently required:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Florida law requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage. This coverage can help pay for injuries, lost wages, and other expenses related to an accident.
Property Damage Liability (PDL) – PDL will cover the costs of any damages you cause to someone’s property, like another car or structure. The minimum PDL coverage in Florida is also $10,000.
Florida drivers should also consider these coverage types that are currently optional to protect themselves in the event of a crash:
Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) – BIL will cover serious injury or death to others when you cause a crash. Because this is not currently required by law, not all drivers carry it.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM) – UM can protect you if you are not at fault in an accident and the negligent driver does not have BIL or is underinsured for the amount of bodily harm he/she has caused to you. It will also cover you and your passengers in the event of a hit-and-run accident. This coverage is completely optional but only available to drivers who also purchase BIL.
We recommend speaking with reputable insurance companies to explore available insurance options and help decide what types of coverage are best for you and your family. In the unfortunate event of an accident where you or a loved one were injured due to another’s negligence, we urge you to contact our team. At Panter, Panter & Sampedro we treat clients like family and use more than 30 years of experience to get the justice, recovery, and compensation they deserve. Call us for a free consultation at (305) 662-6178.
Carollo, M. (2021, March 3). Here are four bills that would change insurance in Florida. Retrieved from:
Wilson, D. (2021, January 26). No-fault repeal clears first Senate committee. Retrieved from:
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Florida Crash Dashboard. Retrieved from: