Frequently Asked Questions - Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In Florida Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Insurance In Florida
The penalties for driving without insurance in the state of Florida are costly and extremely inconvenient. Our goal at Trial Pro is to inform our clients of the serious penalties they can and often will face when driving without insurance in Florida. In doing so we hope to encourage you to purchase the necessary insurance coverages at a reasonable rate that works with your budget so as to avoid these harsh penalties for good.
In Florida the penalties for driving without insurance range in severity. However, they are essentially broken down into 3 tiers of penalties. If caught driving without insurance for the first time you face an automatic suspension of your license. Other penalties for first offenses include fees and fines of different kinds that can prove to become very costly. On the first offense, you will also face higher than normal reinstatement fees of roughly $150.00, this is without mentioning the actual monthly cost of the insurance premium alone.
If caught for a second time driving without insurance in Florida, the penalties are a bit more severe. On your second offense, you face automatic suspension of your license and registration for up to 3 years. In this instance, drivers will be required to pay a $250.00 reinstatement fee assuming this offense is within three years of the first offense. The final tier of penalties is similar to the other two tiers in the sense that you will still face an automatic suspension of your license and registration for up to three years. In this tier, however, you face a reinstatement fee of roughly $500.00 just to reinstate insurance on your vehicle. On top of these hefty fees, drivers also run the risk of becoming what’s called an ‘at risk’ driver.
At-risk drivers find it extremely difficult to find insurance companies willing to insure them. Since they are considered a liability thee drivers will also often find that insurance rates are a bit higher for them. Insurance companies want to avoid paying out on claims, so they are looking for safe drivers that won’t be a liability to insure. Often times you will find that rates for insurance in Florida are much, much more affordable than the penalties and substantial fines that drivers face for driving without insurance. More often than not it’s worth shopping around than not purchasing insurance at all.
Another penalty one can face for driving without insurance in the state of Florida is if you’re involved in an accident and carry no insurance on your vehicle. If deemed at fault for the collision and you caused serious injury or death to others involved the state of Florida may require you to carry an SR22 certificate. This certificate requires you to purchase more than the minimum amount of liability coverage required by the state. This usually results in much higher rates than normal.
Now although the penalties in Florida for driving without insurance are costly and severe many drivers also ask if they need to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the state of Florida. In order to answer that question, sit is important to understand what uninsured motorist does, how you can purchase it and why it is maybe one of the most important coverages to carry in the state of Florida.
First and foremost, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can only be purchased if a driver purchases bodily injury liability coverage. In the state of Florida, you cannot purchase one coverage without the other. Bodily injury liability coverage protects the other person injured in an accident as a result of your negligence whereas uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage covers YOU in the event that you are injured in an accident and the other party is uninsured or underinsured. Why is this so important? Well, the minimum requirements for insurance in the state of Florida are $10,000.00 in property damage coverage (PD) and $10,000.00 in personal injury protection coverage (PIP), meaning that bodily injury liability coverage is not a required coverage to carry by Florida law. What this means is if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident with one of the many people who do not carry bodily injury liability coverage in Florida you cannot pursue that person insurance to make a recovery for injuries, pain, and suffering that arises as a result of the collision.
However, if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy you have the same opportunity to pursue recovery through your own insurance from the available uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In addition, since it is mandatory to carry bodily injury liability coverage in order to purchase uninsured motorist coverage you end up covering yourself and other drivers in the event that you cause a collision. Now of course many drivers always ask wouldn’t it be a ton more money to add this uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to my policy? The simple answer is it’s not as much as you might think. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage ranges in amounts starting at $10,000.00 for the minimum coverage and going as high as $1 million dollars or more. As these amounts of coverage increase so will the rate of your insurance plan but adding uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage onto your policy usually adds less than $100 to your insurance premium.
Although accidents are exactly that- an unintentional accident. It is extremely important to be covered in those unfortunate circumstances. As much as we want to count on the fact that others will purchase the important and necessary insurance coverages it’s better not to bet on strangers. Instead, we hope we’ve provided you with the information you need to understand the penalties of driving uninsured in the state of Florida as well as the importance of carrying uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the state of Florida. Our goal is to inform and educate our current and future clients with as much information that can help facilitate them in protecting their families, their property, their livelihoods, and most importantly their pockets.