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Florida Car Insurance: The Same Laws for Residents and Nonresidents

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 06/25/2017

Florida car insurance is mandatory to be able to drive, but the coverages you have to have are just a little different than other states.

State Regulator Information 877-693-5236 www.floir.com
Insurance Premium Avg. Annual Premium: $ 1,830 National Average: $1,503
Mandatory Car Insurance Coverage PIP: $10k
Property Damage Liability: $10k
Map of Florida for Car Insurance

Even if you don’t live in Florida, you may have to purchase Florida car insurance.

Just like every other state in the nation, Florida car insurance is mandatory to be able to drive. But, most who visit the Sunshine State have no idea that even though they don’t live in Florida; they still have to carry Florida insurance.

They also don’t realize that mandatory Florida car insurance is different than what their state may require them to have.

Mandatory Florida Car Insurance Coverage

Most states require that you carry liability insurance on your vehicle in order to be able to drive. This means both property damage liability coverage and bodily injury liability coverage. In the state of Florida however, you only have to have one of these.

Florida does have two separate coverages that are mandatory for you to have to be able to drive just like every other state, but because of their “No Fault” laws one of them is different. First, you do still have to have property damage liability coverage to cover any damages that you may cause to another person’s property.

Second, you have to carry PIP insurance. In Florida, PIP is also known as “Florida No Fault Insurance” and to those of us that don’t live in Florida; we know it as Personal Injury Protection coverage. PIP covers injuries caused by an accident for the passengers in your vehicle, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

The minimum limit that you have to keep on each of these coverages is $ 10,000. You are encouraged to carry higher limits, but $ 10,000 is all the state requires.

Florida Car Insurance Requirements for Nonresidents

Even if you do not live in the state of Florida you may still have to purchase Florida car insurance. If you are in the state for 90 days or more over the course of a 1-year period (365 days) you have to purchase the mandatory minimum Florida car insurance for your vehicle. Keep in mind that they count the 90 days as any 90 days you are in the state and not 90 days in a row.

Florida Car Insurance Requirements for Snowbirds

If you are one of Florida’s many winter residents, you have to maintain insurance on your vehicle even if your vehicle is in storage while you are not there. Florida’s car insurance laws state that any vehicle that has a Florida registration and license plate has to have insurance. To avoid having to pay insurance premiums on a vehicle that you are not using; you have the option of turning in your plate and registration when you leave the state to go back home.

Plates and registrations can be surrendered at the nearest Tax Collector’s office or Driver’s License office. When you return the following winter you can re-register your vehicle again.

Penalties for not Having Florida Car Insurance

If you don’t keep insurance on your vehicle, the state can suspend your license, your license plate and vehicle registration. To get these back you have to provide proof of insurance coverage in Florida and pay a reinstatement fee.

The reinstatement fees for failing to have Florida car insurance can range from $ 150 to $ 500.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele's first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she's earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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