Do I Need Florida Motorcycle Insurance?

Florida law regarding motorcycle insurance is different from other states and different from laws requiring insurance for drivers of other vehicles. This has led to some confusion for motorcycle riders over whether motorcycle insurance is required at all. In fact, if you operate a motorcycle, Florida law requires you to have some proof of financial responsibility, though you may not have to purchase motorcycle insurance.

Facts About Florida Motorcycle Insurance

One key difference in auto liability insurance and motorcycle insurance in Florida is that the law does not require you to have personal injury protection (PIP) as part of your insurance. Personal injury protection in auto liability insurance is required to pay for medical bills and lost wages. Due to Florida’s no-fault auto insurance laws, PIP covers those expenses regardless of who is at fault in an accident.

Because injuries in a motorcycle accident can be much more expensive for riders than for those in an automobile, adding PIP to a motorcycle insurance policy can be very expensive. Since insurance companies are not required to offer PIP for motorcycle insurance, and because the risk for heavy expenses is high, many insurance companies will not make PIP a part of any motorcycle insurance offering.

Requirements to Provide Proof of Financial Liability

One other key area where motorcycle insurance laws are different is that Florida law does not require motorcycle insurance for motorcycle owners, only motorcycle riders. Automobile owners are accustomed to the requirement to provide proof of financial responsibility when registering their vehicle. However, you may register your motorcycle without providing proof of motorcycle insurance.

If you are involved in an accident, you will be required to furnish proof of financial responsibility at that time. If you do not have proof of financial responsibility, you may face penalties and fees. Without proof of financial responsibility, you may have your motorcycle license revoked, have the registration and license for your motorcycle suspended, and be required to pay additional fees to regain your motorcycle driving privileges.

Exceptions to Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

The most common way of meeting Florida requirements for proof of financial responsibility for motorcycle riders is to get motorcycle insurance. This insurance must be purchased through an insurer in Florida.

The insurance requirements are:

  • $10,000 for single person bodily injury liability.
  • $20,000 for two or more people bodily injury liability.
  • $10,000 per crash for property damage liability.

Your motorcycle insurance must provide at least minimums.

However, there is another option for providing financial responsibility for motorcycle operators. The first is to get a self-insurance certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility. This is based on the net worth of your assets and essentially establishes that if an accident were to occur, you would have the means to provide for the injury or property liability you incurred from the accident.

In either case, you should keep a copy of your proof of financial responsibility on hand at all times when operating a motorcycle. If you are involved in an accident, you will be required to provide it at the scene.

Florida No-Fault Laws and Motorcycle Insurance

While Florida motorists benefit from the no-fault accident laws, they are prohibited from seeking compensation from the driver who caused the accident, except in certain cases of serious injury. However, Florida’s no-fault law does not apply to motorcycle operators. In order to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages, the motorcycle rider must pursue the driver that caused the accident and their insurance company.

While this may ultimately entitle the rider to receive more compensation than might otherwise be allowed for Florida drivers, the process of proving fault can be time consuming and is never assured. If you are in an accident as a motorcycle rider, it is always wise to seek the help of a motorcycle accident attorney to receive the compensation you are entitled to.