Auto Insurance Requirements in Florida

Auto Insurance Requirements in Florida

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All Florida drivers must prove financial responsibility before they can hit the road. The most common way to meet this requirement is through a car insurance policy, which covers you after an accident — no matter who was at fault.

Be ready to present proof of financial responsibility when registering your vehicle at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. You can present the declaration page of your policy, your insurance card or a certificate of self-insurance.

Florida required car insurance coverage

Required minimum limits

Property damage liability (PDL/PD)

$10,000 per accident

Personal injury protection (PIP)

$10,000 per accident

Florida car insurance minimum requirements

If your car insurance policy meets Florida's requirements, then you can drive legally. But if you cause an accident that results in injuries or while you're under the influence, then you'll need to satisfy extra requirements outlined under state law.

Minimum requirements for basic policies

When you buy car insurance in Florida, the policy must include:

Property damage liability (or PDL and PD) pays to repair property after an accident. The minimum required is $10,000 and you can increase those limits by choice. If you aren't at fault in an accident, then the other driver's insurance company will pay for the repairs.

Personal injury protection (PIP) pays for 80% of most medical expenses for you, regardless of fault. You can purchase $10,000 per accident, but you won't be able to increase your limits. This coverage also includes a $5,000 death benefit and a disability benefit that reimburses the policyholder for 60% of lost income if they're unable to work due to injuries.

Each limit counts toward the combined $10,000 maximum that your insurer will pay out per accident. These benefits extend to people in your household, unless they have their own insurance policy.

If you don't have income because you're retired, for example, then excluding PIP's lost-income benefit can help lower your premium. But we don't recommend this for drivers who still depend on their earnings. There's another way to save, though — you can choose a higher PIP deductible, which typically ranges from $250 to $1,000. However, a higher deductible will add to your financial burden after an accident.

Minimum requirements for SR-22 and FR-44 policies

If you cause a serious accident or you're caught driving while intoxicated, the state may ask you to carry additional coverage types and raise your limits to meet Florida's financial responsibility law.

SR-22: If you cause a crash that injures or kills someone, you will need to ask your insurer to file an SR-22 form on your behalf. This form confirms your policy meets state requirements. Florida will also require you to purchase bodily injury liability insurance on top of property damage liability and PIP coverages, with the following limits:

  • Bodily injury and property damage: You can choose a $30,000 limit per crash or split the coverages. A split-coverage policy includes $10,000 for bodily injury liability per person, $20,000 for bodily injury liability per accident and $10,000 for property damage.
  • Personal injury protection: $10,000 per accident

FR-44: If you're caught driving under the influence in Florida, the state requires you to increase your coverage limits to 10 times the normal limit:

  • Bodily injury: $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident
  • Property damage: $50,000 for property damage per accident
  • Personal injury protection: $10,000 per accident

Other optional coverages

Even with the state-mandated minimum coverage, you might not be fully protected after a serious accident. A well-rounded policy includes many different coverages, and Florida drivers may enhance their protection by adding:

Bodily injury liability (BIL or BI): If you're at fault in a car accident that injures other people, this coverage pays for the other party's medical expenses. Typically the other driver's PIP coverage would cover their medical bills, but their insurer may subrogate the medical claims from you if you're at fault for the accident.

In this case, you'd have to pay out of pocket — or your bodily injury liability would reimburse the other insurer, if you had coverage. That's why we recommend it. The lowest available limit for BIL coverage in Florida is $10,000 per person or $20,000 per accident. Insurers may offer higher limits or even require it on a minimum-coverage policy.

Additional PIP is supplemental. The basic PIP covers up to 80% of your medical expenses, while additional PIP covers the rest. It also comes with an extra 25% income-loss benefit. However, all of those costs need to fit within the $10,000 limit and you'll need to decide whether to include your family members in this coverage.

Medical payments covers your own medical expenses following an accident, regardless of fault, and comes with a separate limit. Some people find it redundant if they already have health insurance, but it depends on your policy. Some health insurance companies exclude auto accidents from their coverage. Read more here to see if MedPay is worth the cost.

Uninsured motorist BI (UMBI) covers your bodily injury costs and lost income if you're hit by an uninsured driver. Coverage depends on the insurance company, as some won't let you purchase UMBI if you don't have BIL coverage on your policy. While you may choose from a range of available limits, the limits of your UMBI may never be higher than your BIL limits. We recommend this as well, since Florida has the second-highest share of claims due to uninsured drivers (about 24%).

Your right to sue

In Florida, you may be able to sue for pain and suffering resulting from an accident — but there are limits. You can sue for medical and other economic losses once your own PIP limits are exhausted, but you cannot sue for emotional suffering or other noneconomic losses unless you meet several qualitative thresholds. A court may rule to exempt you from Florida's limited right to sue and award you pain-and-suffering compensation if you meet one of these specific conditions:

  • Significant disability in which you've lost one or several body functions
  • Permanent injury according to a doctor's opinion
  • Significant disfigurement according to a court's decision
  • Death

Alternative proof of financial responsibility

Apart from getting an insurance policy, there is one other way to satisfy the minimum requirements: by insuring yourself. Drivers who demonstrate sufficient financial ability to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle may be approved for a certificate of self-insurance. If you become a self-insurer, you will be liable for the same amount of coverage as would an insurance company under the split limits of 10/20/10 for BIL and PDL coverage, as well as a $10,000 PIP coverage.

Necessary documents to apply for self-insurance include all of the following:

  • A notarized financial statement that shows assets worth at least $40,000 (combined limits of the minimum BI, PD and PIP), also known as the statement of net worth. You may select the assets you choose to list on the balance sheet.
  • The license and Social Security number for all drivers who will hold the certificate of self-insurance
  • A list of all the vehicles covered under this certificate, including the make, model, year, VIN and license plate (tag) number of each

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.