A Tale of Two Policies: Comparing Requirements for Car & Motorcycle Insurance

Most states regulate car and motorcycle insurance under the same set of laws. However, Florida law imposes requirements for car policies that differ from the requirements for motorcycle policies. These differences are further explained below.

What Are the Requirements for Car Policies?

Florida’s financial responsibility laws require car and motorcycle owners to guarantee financial responsibility over certain losses for which they’re found liable. This is accomplished by either a) purchasing insurance or b) certifying that they’re otherwise good to pay for those losses (self-insurers). With regard to the general population, proof of financial responsibility is achieved through purchasing an applicable insurance policy.

Minimum requirements for car insurance. Florida law requires all car owners to carry motor vehicle liability insurance to cover losses resulting from car accidents. Florida car insurance policies are required to provide the following:

  • Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Florida insurance must cover medical, surgical, funeral, and disability costs resulting from a car accident, regardless of fault. The policy must cover a minimum of $10,000 for medical and disability benefits, and $5,000 for death benefits;

And,

  • Property damage liability (PDL) coverage. If a driver causes an accident resulting in physical injury to tangible property, their insurance policy must cover the driver’s liability with limits of at least $10,000 per accident.

Florida’s No-Fault Law. Florida’s requirement that insurance companies cover PIP benefits is part of the state’s no-fault law system. The no-fault law system was implemented to help relieve the burden that traffic accident litigation imposed on Florida’s court system.

As a result, injured parties could get their medical expenses covered without going through painstakingly drawn-out litigation over who’s to blame. In exchange for shifting the initial financial burden for car accidents onto insurance companies, the parties to a car accident are prohibited from suing each other in court for certain damages. For example, pain and suffering damages are only available when the claimant can show that they sustained a permanent or otherwise significant injury.

What Are the Requirements for Motorcycle Policies?

Minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance. Florida law requires motorcycle insurance policies to cover:

  • Bodily injury liability (BIL). If a motorcycle owner is liable for another person’s bodily injuries, their motorcycle insurance policy must cover that liability. BIL coverage must have limits of at least $10,000 per person injured and $20,000 per accident;

And,

  • Property damage liability (PDL). If a motorcycle owner is responsible for damage to another person’s property, their motorcycle insurance policy must cover it. PDL coverage must have limits of at least $10,000 per accident.

PIP Coverage is Inapplicable. As you can see, a Florida motorcycle policy is not required to provide PIP benefits for policyholders. However, some insurance companies sell motorcycle policies that include PIP benefits. This is because Florida law only sets minimum requirements for insurance policies.

Thus, insurance companies are free to include more coverage than they’re legally required to provide. Whether or not a policy does this is ultimately a business decision that is left to the insurance company’s discretion.

Moreover, because PIP is a component of Florida’s no-fault law system, but isn’t required for motorcycle insurance, damages for pain and suffering resulting from a motorcycle accident are not restricted to significant or permanent injuries.

You must carry motorcycle insurance. Florida’s financial responsibility laws impose certain penalties for not having motorcycle insurance. This includes suspending the driver’s licenses, motorcycle registration and license plates, or imposing fees as a condition to regain driving privileges.

Enlist Help from a Qualified Sarasota Car Accident Attorney

If you have more questions about Florida motor vehicle insurance law, Gerber Law can help you. Our clients enjoy one-on-one service with Attorney Maria Gerber, a compassionate yet aggressive trial-tested car accident attorney. You won’t be charged a cent until we successfully recover money to address your injuries.

Contact us online to setup a free initial case evaluation today. Or call our Sarasota office at (941) 810-3666 or our Venice office at (941) 484-2700.

Most states regulate car and motorcycle insurance under the same set of laws. However, Florida law imposes requirements for car policies that differ from the requirements for motorcycle policies. These differences are further explained below.

What Are the Requirements for Car Policies?

Florida’s financial responsibility laws require car and motorcycle owners to guarantee financial responsibility over certain losses for which they’re found liable. This is accomplished by either a) purchasing insurance or b) certifying that they’re otherwise good to pay for those losses (self-insurers). With regard to the general population, proof of financial responsibility is achieved through purchasing an applicable insurance policy.

Minimum requirements for car insurance. Florida law requires all car owners to carry motor vehicle liability insurance to cover losses resulting from car accidents. Florida car insurance policies are required to provide the following:

  • Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Florida insurance must cover medical, surgical, funeral, and disability costs resulting from a car accident, regardless of fault. The policy must cover a minimum of $10,000 for medical and disability benefits, and $5,000 for death benefits;

And,

  • Property damage liability (PDL) coverage. If a driver causes an accident resulting in physical injury to tangible property, their insurance policy must cover the driver’s liability with limits of at least $10,000 per accident.

Florida’s No-Fault Law. Florida’s requirement that insurance companies cover PIP benefits is part of the state’s no-fault law system. The no-fault law system was implemented to help relieve the burden that traffic accident litigation imposed on Florida’s court system.

As a result, injured parties could get their medical expenses covered without going through painstakingly drawn-out litigation over who’s to blame. In exchange for shifting the initial financial burden for car accidents onto insurance companies, the parties to a car accident are prohibited from suing each other in court for certain damages. For example, pain and suffering damages are only available when the claimant can show that they sustained a permanent or otherwise significant injury.

What Are the Requirements for Motorcycle Policies?

Minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance. Florida law requires motorcycle insurance policies to cover:

  • Bodily injury liability (BIL). If a motorcycle owner is liable for another person’s bodily injuries, their motorcycle insurance policy must cover that liability. BIL coverage must have limits of at least $10,000 per person injured and $20,000 per accident;

And,

  • Property damage liability (PDL). If a motorcycle owner is responsible for damage to another person’s property, their motorcycle insurance policy must cover it. PDL coverage must have limits of at least $10,000 per accident.

PIP Coverage is Inapplicable. As you can see, a Florida motorcycle policy is not required to provide PIP benefits for policyholders. However, some insurance companies sell motorcycle policies that include PIP benefits. This is because Florida law only sets minimum requirements for insurance policies.

Thus, insurance companies are free to include more coverage than they’re legally required to provide. Whether or not a policy does this is ultimately a business decision that is left to the insurance company’s discretion.

Moreover, because PIP is a component of Florida’s no-fault law system, but isn’t required for motorcycle insurance, damages for pain and suffering resulting from a motorcycle accident are not restricted to significant or permanent injuries.

You must carry motorcycle insurance. Florida’s financial responsibility laws impose certain penalties for not having motorcycle insurance. This includes suspending the driver’s licenses, motorcycle registration and license plates, or imposing fees as a condition to regain driving privileges.

Enlist Help from a Qualified Sarasota Car Accident Attorney

If you have more questions about Florida motor vehicle insurance law, Gerber Law can help you. Our clients enjoy one-on-one service with Attorney Maria Gerber, a compassionate yet aggressive trial-tested car accident attorney. You won’t be charged a cent until we successfully recover money to address your injuries.

Contact us online to setup a free initial case evaluation today. Or call our Sarasota office at (941) 810-3666 or our Venice office at (941) 484-2700.