Frequently Asked Questions - Do You Need Motorcycle Insurance in Florida?
While some states require motorcycle riders to obtain insurance, the State of Florida does not require motorcycle riders to obtain insurance coverage to register their motorcycle for road use. If you do wish to obtain motorcycle insurance, the state minimum is listed at $10,000.00 in bodily injury coverage for one person, $20,000.00 in bodily injury for two people and $10,000.00 in property damage. Bodily injury coverage is the coverage that a third party would pursue should they sue your insurance company for personal injuries. $10,000.00 is the maximum your insurance company would pay to one party and $20,000.00 is the maximum they would pay out for two people. Property damage covers damages to another vehicle should you cause an accident or any property that you damage after causing an accident such as a stop sign or a wall or shrubbery. Of course, you can always choose to have much higher coverages that these, but these coverages are the state minimum.
The State of Florida does not require automobile drivers to obtain bodily injury coverage on a regular, four wheeled vehicle, unlike a lot of other states in the country. If you are hit on your motorcycle by someone who does not carry bodily injury coverage or who is completely uninsured at the time of your accident, there will be no insurance company to sue for any injuries you sustain if you do not have an adequate motorcycle insurance policy. Because of the lack of bodily injury coverage on some automobile insurance policies, it is beneficial to you to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy. If you own a four wheeled automobile in addition to your motorcycle, some insurance companies allow you to roll your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage from your automobile policy to cover you when you are involved in a motorcycle accident. You should always read your insurance policy language carefully to determine if this applies to you. If you own more than one vehicle in addition to your motorcycle, insurance companies offer stacking and non-stacking insurance coverage. Stacking insurance coverage means that if you have an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy in the amount of $100,000.00 and you own two vehicles, you can select the stacking option which would multiply your coverage by the amount of vehicles on the policy. A $100,000.00 uninsured or underinsured motorist policy with stacked coverage with two vehicles on the policy would mean that you are entitled to $200,000.00 in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. You can stack the coverage for as many vehicles as you have on that particular policy. Even if you were involved in a motorcycle accident with no motorcycle insurance, if you have an automobile policy with several vehicles listed with stacked underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, you could still be entitled to that coverage, no matter if your motorcycle is listed on that policy or not. In most circumstances, this applies to the listed insured drivers only and does not apply to passengers on your motorcycle at the time of an accident unless they are listed on your automobile policy. Your insurance agent can always assist you in this department when you are purchasing an insurance policy to review the language and interpret it for you.
If you have caused a motorcycle accident and you do not have motorcycle coverage, your motorcycle will likely be damaged or even a total loss. Having no insurance of your own, there will be no insurance coverage to pay for the damages or the loss. You can opt to purchase collision and comprehensive motorcycle insurance which will cause far less of a headache than having to pay out of pocket for extremely expensive motorcycle repairs or even have to purchase a new motorcycle. Collision coverage pays for your damages if you cause an accident or you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. If the person who hits you does not have a valid insurance policy, you would submit your claim to your own insurance company who will take care of the repairs or pay you for the total loss for however much money the motorcycle is worth. Comprehensive insurance covers your motorcycle if it is stollen or vandalized. Again, if you have not purchased comprehensive insurance coverage and your vehicle is stollen in the middle of the night, you will solely be responsible for any financial payments still being made on the motorcycle in addition to having to purchase a new motorcycle. When you purchase collision and comprehensive motorcycle insurance coverage, you will be given several options of how much of a deductible you would like to pay. The amount of your deductible depends on how much you are able to spend each month on your insurance premiums but if you choose a smaller deductible, you would likely end up paying more each month for your insurance. On the other hand, if you do end up using the coverage, you would be paying less towards your deductible out of your own pocket. If you choose a $1,000.00 deductible in order to pay less towards your insurance premiums, you have to keep in mind that if you ever need to use that coverage, you will have to first pay $1,000.00 towards any damages to the motorcycle before the insurance company will pay the remainder.
If you cause an accident while riding your motorcycle and you do not have motorcycle insurance, the injured party can bring a claim against you personally. If the other party does not file a claim against you, the State can still fine you for causing an accident with injuries while not being covered by a motorcycle insurance policy. Although it is not mandatory to have motorcycle insurance coverage in the State of Florida, the state can still penalize you and require you place a surety cash bond deposit with the Department of Highway and Safety in case you cause another accident or suspend your motorcycle registration until you can show proof of motorcycle insurance coverage.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and you do not have insurance coverage, the best thing you can do to help yourself is consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your rights and benefits and strategize the best way to move forward with your claim.