Driving Without Insurance in Florida

Driving Without Insurance in Florida

Car insurance can start to feel like a big hassle. You pay big premiums, which seem to go up every year, but you still have a huge deductible. And if you do get into an accident, it can feel like it is in the best interest of the insurance companies to pay out as little as possible — or even deny your claim altogether.

It may seem easy to wonder if you shouldn’t just take the risk of driving without insurance. While car insurance can feel like a burden, it exists for a reason and helps to make the roadways safer by minimizing the risk for all drivers. It’s also illegal to drive without insurance in Florida.

To learn more about the legal requirements for car insurance, the penalties for driving without insurance, and how a lawyer can help if you’ve been involved in an accident, learn more in this helpful guide from the Clark Hartpence Law Team.

Legal Requirements for Car Insurance in Florida

According to Florida law, every owner or driver of a motor vehicle must have automobile insurance with minimum coverage of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL). The policy must be a Florida policy and issued by a carrier licensed to do business in the state of Florida. Additionally, coverage must be continuously maintained throughout the registration period regardless of whether the vehicle is in use or present in the state.

Uninsured motorists are required to notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and need to suspend their driver’s license and vehicle registration before canceling coverage. Reinstating license and registration requires proof of insurance.

Penalties for Driving with No Insurance

During any routine traffic stop, or if a police officer is at the scene of a car accident, the officer will ask for license, registration, and proof of insurance. According to the DHSMV, failure to maintain insurance coverage can result in the suspension of your driver’s license and registration. It can also result in a reinstatement fee of $150 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and $500 for subsequent offenses within three years.

What If You Get into an Accident without Insurance?

Whether the accident was minor or major, and no matter who was at fault, automobile collisions become far more complex when one or both motorists are uninsured or underinsured. It is required by law for motorists to report an accident to the police if there is any damage to vehicles or property, or if a person was injured.

Florida law additionally requires a written police report under certain circumstances including if:

  • The accident involved a commercial motor vehicle
  • One of the parties was injured, complained of pain, or someone died
  • One of the cars involved in the accident is now inoperable

In any of these situations, not having insurance will likely result in a misdemeanor charge for driving without insurance and the penalties discussed above. This is before any other charges that may be lodged, including careless or reckless driving, or driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol.

Even if you weren’t at fault and there is a favorable legal judgment on your behalf, it can be very challenging to collect the damages you are entitled to.

How An Attorney Can Help

Despite the many difficulties and potential penalties of driving without insurance in Florida, there are still options to minimize legal penalties and receive any compensation you are entitled to. Every case is different and there are factors that can change both legal and financial outcomes. As one example, insurance companies offer optional coverage for crashes involving an uninsured motorist. There are also cases where motorists can still obtain insurance coverage after the fact.

An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can help you understand your situation. Attorneys know how to conduct an investigation into the procedures that law enforcement and insurance carriers have taken in your case — in order to determine if you are being treated fairly, and according to the law and insurance policies.

Contact Clark Hartpence Law Today

If you or a loved one has been cited for driving without car insurance in Florida and/or involved in a car accident, call us today at (855) 680-4911 or fill out a form online to schedule a free consultation. Our team will help you take the next steps to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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