With great weather all year round, Florida is a wonderful state own a motorcycle. But while Florida has great biking weather, it’s not necessarily the best state to ride a motorcycle. Of all the US states, Florida has the highest number of motorcycle accident deaths. The increased number of motorcycle accident deaths indicates an overall higher amount of motorcycle accidents in the state. Considering the higher risk, it’s important to learn more about Florida motorcycle insurance requirements. Many bikers mistakenly believe no insurance cover is necessary for motorcycles, but there are minimum motorcycle insurance requirements for Florida bikers.
Car Insurance vs Motorcycle Insurance Laws
Some states group car insurance and motorbike insurance under the same laws, but not Florida.
Minimum car insurance requirements in Florida state that car owners must have at least $10,000 cover for personal injury protection (or PIP) – a form of cover intended to pay out for the insured’s own injuries from a car accident.
In Florida, PIP insurance isn’t a legal requirement for bikers, but some insurance companies will include PIP cover as an option in their policies. Talk to your insurance specialists to learn more about how you can get PIP cover for your motorcycle, as this will allow you to claim for personal injuries in the event of a motorbike accident.
Because PIP is a form of no-fault insurance, your policy will payout your medical expenses in the case of a car accident to the maximum limit of your policy.
Unfortunately, no fault laws regarding PIP insurance don’t apply to motorbikes in Florida. Your PIP cover that you have on your car insurance policy won’t pay out for a motorcycle accident. PIP isn’t available for bikers in Florida unless you specifically take out a policy with PIP coverage for your bike.
In the event of an accident where another person is at fault, however, you could possibly claim from their bodily injury liability (or BIL) insurance for your injuries, but this isn’t a reliable course of action. BIL cover isn’t a legal requirement in Florida, so many motorists don’t have it.
If an uninsured driver (one without BIL cover) was at fault in an accident and you wish to get paid out for injuries, the only course of action is to go to court and sue for damages.
Florida Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
No PIP insurance is required for Florida bikers, but there are still legal requirements. Should an accident occur where you’re at fault, Florida motorcycle insurance requirements are as follows:
- $10,000 cover is required for single person bodily injury liability
- $20,000 cover for bodily injury liability if two or more persons are injured
- $10,000 cover for property damage liability per crash
When an accident occurs, failure to prove you’re covered according to the above guidelines could result in harsh consequences. Your license may be suspended is it’s found you aren’t insured adequately.
Registering a Bike in Florida: Do You Need Insurance?
Unlike with cars, it isn’t a legal requirement to have insurance if you want to register a bike. This is why many bike owners believe that insurance isn’t mandatory. While you could technically ride a bike in Florida without taking out any insurance, you’ll still be liable for minimum cover if you’re involved in an accident.
The fact that bike owners can register bikes in Florida without taking out insurance is misleading. Legally speaking, having no insurance could land you in a lot of trouble – especially after an accident.
What Forms of Motorcycle Insurance to Take out?
The minimum insurance requirements for Florida bikers only covers damages that you may cause to other persons if you’re at fault. Your own financial loss in the event of an accident isn’t accounted for if you have the minimum cover according to Florida motorcycle insurance requirements
To make sure your own damages are covered, you should take out the following types of insurance.
Collision and Comprehensive Insurance
Collision and comprehensive insurance will cover your own bike in the event of an accident or theft. If you’re involved in an accident where you’re at fault, this form of cover will also payout for damage you caused to another vehicle.
In short, collision and comprehensive insurance policies are the best for covering all the expenses involved in an accident. Choosing a comprehensive policy with a low deductible means your co-payment will be affordable, but low deductibles can also raise your premiums. When choosing the deductible amount on your policy, stick to an amount you can afford to pay should the need arise for a claim.
Guest Passenger Liability
Guest passenger liability is intended to payout if an accident occurs and your passenger is injured. If a passenger is injured, guest passenger liability will payout for hospital bills and medical expenses. The amount your policy will payout depends on how much insurance your carry for passenger liability. This form of cover is best if you regularly carry passengers on your bike.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection pays out for your own injuries after a motorcycle accident. To have PIP cover for bike accidents, your motorcycle insurance policy must include PIP cover.
Because car and motorbikes don’t fall under the same laws in Florida, the PIP you have on your car won’t cover your medical expenses after motorcycle accident.
Even if a motorcycle accident isn’t your fault, claiming from the other party’s insurance for your injuries and medical bills will be a much more complicated process than claiming for PIP.
Filing a Claim Against an At-Fault Driver
Because motorcycles don’t qualify for no-fault insurance in Florida, the rules for filing a claim against another driver also differ. This is especially true if you want to claim from another person for injuries you sustain in an accident.
As a car driver, you’d need to prove significant or permanent injury to claim from the other party’s insurance. As a bike rider, the severity of your injuries won’t matter when filing a claim against another person. Proving that the other person was at fault is the only requirement to claim for your personal injuries.
Although claiming from at-fault drivers in Florida will be easier if you’re a biker, it’s not a reliable form of protection. For you to claim, the person at fault would need to have bodily injury liability insurance, which isn’t a requirement for Florida drivers. To make matters worse, many drivers who have this form of insurance, are only covered up to $10,000. While this could certainly help, it won’t cover your medical expenses and lost wages after a serious injury.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Florida has the highest number of annual motorcycle accidents deaths. Motorcycle accidents account for one fifth of all motor accident deaths in Florida state.
Unfortunately, despite the evident danger of riding a bike in Florida, many bikers don’t take adequate safety measures to protect themselves. Wearing a helmet isn’t a legal requirement for bikers older than 21 who have a minimum medical insurance policy of $10,000.
A 2013 AAA consumer pulse survey found that Florida bikers generally wear the following gear when riding:
- Helmets – 86%
- Face shield or protective glasses – 81%
- Biking boots 64%
- Gloves 63%
- Protective jacket or vest – 55%
Although this information might be outdated, chances are it’s still represents the reality of biking in Florida.
Another study by the AAA found that most bikers claim to wear helmets, but only 47% are seen wearing helmets when viewed on the roads.
Bike owners in Florida should take note of these statistics and prioritize personal safety more. Taking out proper insurance and fulfilling Florida motorcycle insurance requirements is a good start, but improved safety awareness and cautious driving is also important.