The Sunshine State is not so sunny where car accidents are considered. The car insurance laws may surprise people who are not from Florida – and even many people who are from Florida.

People love Florida for its weather and beaches. But driving here is not something anyone loves.

Does Florida require drivers to carry liability insurance?

No. Florida does not require drivers to purchase liability insurance. This means that while you are on the road, any number of people driving around you could be uninsured.

How many people in Florida are uninsured?

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), Florida ranks number 6 in states with the highest number of uninsured motorists at 20.4% of the population. (Data from 2019). Mississippi was number 1, followed by Michigan, Tennessee, New Mexico and Washington state. Conversely, the state with the lowest number of uninsured drivers is New Jersey at 3.1%.

What car insurance is mandatory in Florida?

People who do drive are only required to carry PIP and PDL. PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection, which is insurance for you or your passengers who may be injured in an accident. PDL stands for Property Damage Liability, meaning damage you or someone driving your car cause to someone else’s property.

Different minimums apply to taxi drivers and rideshare drivers working for companies such as Uber and Lyft drivers.

What is the minimum coverage in Florida?

Floridians must only carry very low minimum limits to cover their injuries and property damage liability.

Those low limits are 10 (PIP)/10 (PDL) insurance. That is, $10,000 PIP (personal injury protection) and $10,000 property damage liability. Neither of these limits will go very far if someone is seriously injured in an accident as far as paying for their medical expenses, not to mention paying for vehicle repairs or total loss of a vehicle, the PDL or property damage liability coverage.

What is a total loss?

A total loss is when the costs to repair a vehicle are more than the value of the vehicle. Insurance companies will declare the vehicle a total loss if it is not worth repairing because of the extensive damage.

What happens if an uninsured driver hits my car?

If you cannot get the at-fault party to pay for the repairs, you will have to bear that burden. If you carry coverage on your vehicle for collision, then your insurance might cover the cost less any deductible you carry on the policy.

Knowing the facts about Florida and the insurance laws, it’s crazy not to purchase uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists coverage.

If you are struck and injured by an uninsured motorist in Florida, an attorney can help you find out if there is insurance coverage that applies for your injury claim.