Differences Between Insurance Requirements for Automobiles and Motorcycles in Florida
With the weather starting to get warmer and summer right around the corner, we’ll soon see an enormous increase in the number of motorcycles on Florida roads. Unfortunately, that also means the number of riders injured in motorcycle collisions will also be on the rise. As an experienced rider, I know all too well how motorcyclists are often overlooked or go unnoticed by drivers not paying close attention to the road. I have been involved in several “close calls” and have represented numerous individuals who were not lucky enough to get out of harm’s way.
If you are like me and plan to enjoy Florida’s open road on your motorcycle, please understand there are several important differences between the requirements for Florida automobile insurance and Florida motorcycle insurance. These differences could adversely impact the way you are compensated in the event of an accident.
Motorcycle Insurance Not a Requirement in Florida: Many people are surprised to learn that the State of Florida does not require any proof of insurance in order to register a motorcycle. However, keep in mind that should you be found at fault for an accident you may be subject to a lawsuit for property damage and injuries for which you will be personally responsible. Additionally, if you are borrowing money to purchase a bike, the lender will almost certainly require some type of insurance.
Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Law: Interestingly, in Florida, motorcycles are not considered motor vehicles under Florida’s no-fault law (commonly referred to as PIP). This means that should you be injured in a motorcycle accident you will not be entitled to the $10,000.00 in medical and lost wage benefits that you would otherwise be entitled to in a motor vehicle accident. Some Florida insurers provide special PIP coverage for motorcycles, however, this type of insurance is not a requirement, nor is it regulated by state statute.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) Coverage: It is extremely important to make sure your insurance policy contains UM coverage. This coverage will compensate you for damages you sustain should you be injured by a driver that does not carry liability insurance. You would be amazed at how many vehicles on Florida roads do not carry bodily injury (BI) insurance to compensate for injuries caused by negligent driving.
Florida Helmet Law: Helmets are not required for bikers in Florida that are over the age of 21. However, should a rider over the age of 21 decide not to wear a helmet while operating his/her bike (which I would not recommend), that rider must carry proof of at least $10,000.00 in medical insurance coverage.
Please keep these differences in mind when purchasing your motorcycle insurance in Florida. Riding in Florida can be a great way to save money on fuel costs or spend your leisure time, but, be sure to have appropriate insurance in place should tragedy strike.