Florida No-Fault Car Insurance Rules and Coverage Requirements

Florida car accident cases typically start (and often end) with a no-fault/personal injury protection insurance claim.

Updated by , J.D.

In this article, we focus on Florida's car insurance laws and coverage requirements, including:

  • Florida's status as a "no-fault" car insurance state
  • who is covered under no-fault/personal injury protection car insurance in Florida
  • minimum insurance requirements for all four-wheeled vehicles registered in the state, and
  • how you might be able to step outside Florida's no-fault system and file a liability insurance claim or lawsuit against the person who caused your car accident.

Is Florida a "No-Fault" Car Insurance State?

Florida follows a "no-fault" system when it comes to injury claims after a car accident. Drivers are required to carry auto insurance that pays personal injury protection (PIP) (often known as "no-fault") benefits.

When the policyholder (or anyone else covered under the terms of the policy) is injured in a car accident, PIP pays medical expenses and certain non-medical costs associated with the accident, up to PIP coverage limits.

By contrast, in a "fault" or "liability" state, anyone injured in an accident can file a liability insurance claim or even a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Learn more about how no-fault car insurance works.

Who Is Covered Under PIP Car Insurance in Florida?

All Florida vehicle owners are required to carry minimum PIP benefits in their policies. These benefits kick in regardless of who was at fault in the accident. But PIP protections benefit more than just the policyholder who is injured while involved in an accident in his or her own vehicle. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, PIP coverage also applies to:

  • your children (not just for accidents that occur in your car, but also for injuries that occur while riding on a school bus)
  • members of your household, and
  • most passengers who lack PIP Insurance (as long as they don't own a vehicle).

Your PIP coverage also protects you while you're a passenger in someone else's vehicle, and as a pedestrian or bicyclist if you suffer injuries in a crash involving a motor vehicle.

Note that anyone who is riding in your car who carries PIP will receive coverage under their own PIP for their injuries. The same goes for most licensed drivers who are driving your vehicle with your permission.

What Is Covered Under PIP Car Insurance In Florida?

Under Florida law, available PIP benefits include:

  • 80 percent of medical expenses resulting from treatment of the claimant's car accident injuries
  • 60 percent of accident-related lost income, and
  • if the covered person died as a result of the accident, $5,000 in death benefits (paid to the executor or administrator of the deceased person's estate, or to their relatives).

Florida's "Injury Threshold" for Taking a Claim Out of the No-Fault System

Florida drivers can only step outside of the state's no-fault system and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver directly:

  • if injuries resulting from the accident are considered "permanent"
  • if significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement occurs, or
  • if significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function results from the crash.

This threshold is significant because an injured driver or passenger can't receive certain kinds of compensation via a no-fault or PIP claim. Most notably, non-economic damages like pain and suffering are excluded from the no-fault/PIP process.

But once you're permitted to step outside of no-fault and file a liability claim or lawsuit, you're entitled to seek the full spectrum of car accident damages, including payment for pain and suffering, which can really boost the value of a car accident claim.

Finally, it's important to note that vehicle damage is never part of a no-fault or PIP claim. If you want to get payment for damage to a vehicle after an accident, you're free to pursue an insurance action or lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Florida

Now that you understand how no-fault PIP coverage works, what kinds and amounts of car insurance coverage are mandated under Florida law? The following minimums are required in order to register a vehicle in the state:

  • $10,000 in no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, and
  • $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) benefits (which kicks in if you cause damage to someone else's vehicle or other property in an accident).
Unlike most other U.S. states, Florida does not technically require drivers to have bodily injury liability (BIL) benefits (which pay the costs of injuries to other drivers and passengers if a crash occurs and you're found to be at fault).
But according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, you must have full liability insurance coverage in effect at the time of a crash or take a number of insurance-related steps after the accident if:
  • you're found at fault for the car accident
  • you're issued a traffic violation in connection with the crash, and
  • injuries were noted on the responding law enforcement officer's crash report.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Florida

Florida drivers are not required to buy uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This kind of coverage must be offered by an insurer at the time a policy is purchased in Florida, but the purchaser can reject UIM coverage as long as they decline in writing. Learn more about what happens if you're hit by an uninsured driver.

Getting Help After a Car Accident

It's always a smart move to familiarize yourself with the car insurance rules in your state. But if you're hurt in a car accident, you might need more than just information. Especially if your injuries are significant, or if the insurance company isn't coming to the table with a fair settlement offer, it might be time to discuss your situation with an experienced legal professional.

Learn more about when you might need a lawyer after a car accident, and get tips on finding the right car accident attorney for you and your case. You can also use the tools on this page to connect with a Florida injury lawyer near you.

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