Nearly every state in the United States requires car drivers to obtain car insurance. Despite laws requiring insurance, however, it should come as no surprise that many millions of drivers still do not obtain insurance. Either they are unable to pay for car insurance or they simply refuse. According to a recent report from the Insurance Research Council, 12.9% of drivers were uninsured. This is down from a high of 14.9% in 2003.
The IRC determined the number of uninsured drivers “based on a ratio of insurance claims made by individuals who were injured by uninsured drivers to claims made by those who were injured by insured drivers.” The report found that Florida is among the worst states when it comes to uninsured drivers. According to IRC, nearly one in four drivers in Florida is uninsured. Florida had approximately 3.2 million uninsured drivers in 2012, or about 23.8% of the state’s drivers. The dubious distinction ranks second in the nation behind Oklahoma, where 25.9% were uninsured. Rounding out the top 5 were Mississippi (22.9%), New Mexico (21.6%), and Michigan (21%).
Florida’s Car Insurance Law
Under Florida law, drivers are required to purchase a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance and a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability insurance. If a driver is injured in a car accident, personal injury protection provides coverage up to the policy limit (minus the deductible), regardless of who caused the crash. It also covers children, members of the household, and certain passengers who lack PIP Insurance, but only if they lack their own coverage.
If the policyholder or another member of the family damages another person’s property in a car crash, property damage liability insurance will pay for damages, but only if there is liability. Notably, bodily injury liability insurance is not required to register a car in Florida. This type of insurance pays for serious and permanent injuries to others when the policyholder or family member causes a car crash. The policy pays for damage up to the policy limit, and the insurer will provide legal counsel to help prepare a defense if there is litigation.
If one does not purchase or maintain the minimum insurance, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles can suspend one’s driving privileges for up to three years or until proof of Florida insurance is provided, whichever is first. As such, it is imperative for every driver to maintain the minimum insurance coverage.
Contact a Brandon Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, a Brandon car accident attorney can help you with your case. At Reed & Reed, our team experienced car accident attorneys can help protect your rights to make sure that you obtain the compensation you deserve. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.