What insurance are you required to have on your motorcycle in Florida?
This seems like a simple question, after all, the laws governing the required minimum amount of car insurance are straightforward. However, the Florida motorcycle insurance requirements are unique.
Are Motorcycles Exempt From Minimum Insurance Requirements in Florida?
First of all, motorcycles are not considered “motor vehicles” as the term is defined by the Florida No Fault Statute (Fla. Stat. § 627.736). Therefore, motorcycles are exempt from the minimum insurance requirements placed on cars and trucks registered in Florida. In fact, motorcycle owners are not required to show proof of insurance when the bike is registered.
However, motorcycle owners are still bound by Florida’s Financial Responsibility laws (Fla. Stat. § 324.021). In other words, if the driver of a motorcycle is charged with causing a crash, the driver will be held financially responsible for damages caused.
Additionally, if the owner is charged with causing a crash and cannot provide proof of financial responsibility, the owner can face legal penalties such as:
- Suspension of driving privileges
- Being required to show proof of liability/property damage insurance for up to three years
- Suspension of registration
- Monetary penalties
Three Proof of Financial Responsibility Options
So the question becomes, what does the owner have to do to be considered “financially responsible?” In Florida, the motorcycle owner has three financial responsibility options to choose from:
Purchase Liability Coverage from a Florida Authorized Insurer
This is probably the easiest and least time consuming of the options. This is much like purchasing insurance on an automobile aside from the fact there is no requirement to purchase Personal Injury Protection (No-Fault) benefits.
The minimum requirements to prove “financial responsibility are as follows:
- $10,000/$20,000 Bodily Injury Liability
- $10, 000 Property Damage Liability
Additionally, most Florida insurers offer a no-fault motorcycle coverage even though it is not required by Florida law. If you still have questions, be sure to reach out to the Tallahassee motorcycle accident lawyers at Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro today and we will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have.
This is probably the most complicated of the three options. It requires the owner of the motorcycle to post a surety bond and deposit cash/securities with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Upon doing so, the owner is issued a “Self-Insurance Certificate” which will be considered proof of “financial responsibility” should the owner be charged with a crash.
Financial Responsibility Certificate
This option is much like the Florida motorcycle self-insurance option, but doesn’t require the posting of a bond or any deposit of money with the DHSMV. Instead, the owner is required to complete a financial affidavit complete with appraisals evidencing a net worth of $40,000 or more. Upon approval from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility, the owner will be provided with a “Financial Responsibility Certificate” evidencing that financial requirements have been met.
Contact a Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
At Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro we have years of experience handling motorcycle injury claims and counseling consumers on motorcycle insurance requirements.