Beware, Florida Drivers Are Uninsured

Thinking of coming to Florida on vacation, you should think twice, and be warned that Florida drivers are not required to carry liability insurance, also known as bodily injury liability or BI. Bodily injury liability coverage will pay for your injuries and other losses after being in an accident.

Under the current Florida law, drivers are only required to carry personal injury protection or PIP, which will cover their own injuries, but not yours. In addition Florida drivers are required to carry property damage coverage which will pay for the damage done to your car. However there is no requirement that Florida drivers carry BI coverage which would pay for your injuries when you are in an accident caused by a Florida driver. This is how things have been in Florida since 1972. Florida became the second state in the country to adopt a no-fault automobile insurance plan which took effect January 1, 1972.

This antiquated law has remained on the books ever since, with the exception that the Florida legislature enacted provisions in Florida's new personal injury protection (PIP) on January 1, 2013. The changes required that accident victims seek treatment within fourteen days after their accident or loose their right to collect pip benefits. In addition, if you are not diagnosed with an emergency medical condition, or EMC, the new law will limit the pip benefits to $2,500.00. Under the revised law, PIP will not pay for acupuncture or massage thereapy. The 2013 changes did not make it better for anyone, Florida drivers are still not required to carry bodily injury liability insurance, and the 2013 law instituted hurdles that Florida insured drivers must clear in order to even get coverage under their own policy.

In January 2018, the Florida Senate will consider a proposal that would replace the state's no-fault auto insurance system, while a similar bill has already has gone to the House floor.

The senate proposal would repeal the no-fault law, which requires motorists to carry $10,000 in personal-injury protection, or PIP, coverage to help pay medical expenses after accidents. It would require motorists to carry $5,000 in what is known as medical payments coverage, or MedPay, and minimum amounts of bodily-injury coverage that would increase over time.

The requirement that motorists carry $10,000 in PIP coverage hasn't changed since 1979.

The House proposal does not include a requirement of carrying MedPay coverage. The House measure, which faces opposition from some insurers, business groups and medical providers, has been projected to save motorists on average about $80 a year.

Under the proposed bill, starting Jan. 1, 2019, Florida would set a minimum of $20,000 for bodily injury protection that includes coverage for the injury or death of one person and $40,000 for injury or death of two or more people. The coverage would grow to $25,000 and $50,000 two years later and to $30,000 and $60,000 on Jan. 1, 2023.

If you plan on driving in the State of Florida, lets hope that the Florida legislature does the right thing and enacts the proposed legislation to require Florida drivers to carry bodily injury (BI) liability coverage. If they don’t, I suggest you stay away from driving on the Florida highways.

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