Florida Legal Issues Regarding Motorcycle Insurance

No type of insurance coverage is required to lawfully operate a motorcycle in Florida. The owner of a motorcycle can obtain a license plate and registration without any coverage. This is different than the law with regard to cars and trucks. The owner of either of those types of motor vehicles must, at a mimimum, have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage – Liability insurance to obtain a plate and registration. (PIP is no-fault coverage and can pay the policy holder and a few others up to $10,000 for medical benefits and lost wages, while PD – Liability covers property damage to the other vehicles.)

However, in the event of an accident resulting in death or personal injury, if the uninsured motorcyclist or car/truck owner with only PIP/PD is charged with causing the accident, his/her drivers license and all vehicle registrations will be suspended. Sections 316.066(3)(a)1 and 324.051(2)(a) of the Florida Statutes. Taking it one step further, these consequences will also result to the inadequately insured owner even if he/she was not operating the vehicle, if the accident was caused by a permissive user. This is because Florida considers vehicles used on its roads and highways to be dangerous instruments, subjecting its owners to the same liability for accidents as the permissive operators.

The only way for vehicle owners to avoid these serious consequences is by having Bodily Injury (BI) coverage of at least $10,000 per person/$20,000 per accident. Section 324.021 (7) Florida Statutes. Bodily Injury insurance is a liability coverage that is paid by the at-fault party’s carrier to non-negligent individuals for personal injuries, out-of-pocket expenses, unpaid medical bills, and lost wages. The minimum coverage limit available is $10,000/$20,000, although coverage limits can be in the millions. For some inexplicable reason, the coverage is not mandatory in Florida.

Understanding Florida’s maze of vehicle laws can be difficult. They are anything but straightforward and often make no logical sense. A large part of the reason why is because The Florida’s Legislature, which creates the laws, can be influenced in strange and unsavory ways.

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Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.

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