Get caught driving without car insurance in Florida and you could face fines, license suspension and higher premiums.
You need car insurance to drive in Florida. If you’re caught driving without auto coverage, the state might fine you, suspend your license and registration, make you file an SR-22 or even put you in jail. And your premiums may go up a lot when you buy a policy.
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Drive without car insurance in Florida and you might be fined, have your license suspended and face other penalties.
As a Florida driver, you need to show proof of insurance whenever you’re pulled over, involved in an accident, go to traffic court or renew your license plates. Here’s what happens if you can’t find your insurance card or policy in these situations.
The penalties tied to driving without car insurance in Florida depend on how many times you’ve been caught doing it.
Here are the minimum penalties you could face for driving with no insurance based on whether it’s your first, second, third or later offense:
|Number of times caught without insurance||Penalty|
|First offense of driving without insurance||
|Second offense of driving without insurance||
|Third offense (or more) of driving without insurance||
Rather than risk these hefty fines and penalties, get the minimum amount of car insurance coverage Florida law requires.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average monthly premium for Florida’s minimum auto insurance liability policy was $75 in 2016. That’s quite a bit cheaper than what you could pay in fines, penalties and other costs if you’re caught driving without insurance.
If you cause a car accident without insurance in Florida, you may have to get bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage along with the other coverage state law requires.
Specifically, if you cause an accident that injures or kills someone, the state might require you to buy a minimum of $10,000 BIL coverage per person and $20,000 BIL coverage per accident.
The state also might require you to file an SR-22 form for up to three years if you drive without car insurance and you cause an accident that hurts another person.
An SR-22 form or certificate proves you’re carrying the state minimum amount of liability coverage.
You won’t actually file the SR-22 certificate with the state yourself. Your car insurance company files it for you.
Not all insurance providers will file SR-22s, so you may have to shop around a bit before you can find one. And when you do find one, expect it to charge you a fee of between $15 and $50 to file the SR-22 for you.
This fee comes on top of your car insurance rates. And needing an SR-22 usually coincides with a rate increase due to the fact that most insurers will now consider you a high-risk driver.
What happens when you’re caught driving after your license is suspended for no insurance? If it’s your first offense, the state may fine you $500 and even sentence you to 60 days in jail.
For your second offense, the state might charge you with “driving while license suspended or revoked” with knowledge (DWLSR). This is serious. If you get three DWLSR charges within five years, the state can suspend your driver’s license for up to five years.
You have to carry at least the state minimum amount of car insurance coverage to avoid the fines and other penalties highlighted above. In Florida, that means you need:
PIP pays for 80% of “necessary and reasonable” medical expenses — up to $10,000, in this case — that result from a covered injury, no matter who caused the accident. PDL coverage pays for damage you or someone driving your vehicle causes to another person’s property.
Florida drivers must maintain this coverage even if they don’t drive their vehicles or if they’re inoperable.
Also, Florida drivers who cause accidents that injure or kill another person need to carry the following coverages as well:
You must show proof of insurance when requested in Florida. To do this, you can show your insurance policy or your insurance card. If you have no proof of insurance, the state may fine or penalize you in other ways.
It’s illegal to drive without insurance in Florida, so buy at least the state minimum amount of coverage.
Not only will this allow you to avoid the penalties and fines detailed here, but it will protect you financially in other ways, too.
Ideally, you should buy more than the minimum car insurance the state requires. For example, getting uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage would not be a bad idea. After all, Florida has the highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the U.S., according to the III.
How do you get cheap car insurance in Florida? By shopping around and comparing quotes from multiple companies.
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