Florida Financial Responsibility Law

Florida’s financial responsibility law is a law that requires some categories of drivers to have extra car insurance. While all drivers have to have basic no-fault insurance, there are some drivers who have to have additional insurance to cover at-fault situations. If you get a DUI or if you’re in a serious accident, you might need to know what the law is and how to comply with it. Our Tampa attorneys for car accidents explain Florida’s financial responsibility law.

What Is the Financial Responsibility Law?

The financial responsibility law [1] is a law that requires certain Florida drivers to carry additional insurance to cover fault for serious accidents. The financial responsibility law applies to drivers who are considered high risk because of their previous driving history, including drunk driving or a serious accident.Florida Financial Responsibility Paperwork

Drivers who are covered by the law have to carry additional insurance beyond what Florida law already requires. The additional requirements ensure that the driver can cover damages for an at-fault accident up to the amount required. The financial responsibility law ensures that drivers at a high-risk for causing an accident can meet a certain level of legal liability to the victims.

What Is the Minimum Insurance Coverage Requirement Under the Financial Responsibility Law?

In Florida, the minimum insurance coverage requirement under the financial responsibility law is $100,000 per person for bodily injury [2], $300,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $50,000 for property damage per accident. The minimum insurance requirements under the financial responsibility law apply for three years for anyone convicted of drunk driving after October 1, 2007.

The minimum insurance coverage requirements under the financial responsibility law are above and in addition to the personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and property damage insurance that all drivers must carry. Only drivers who meet qualifying events to fall under the financial responsibility law must carry the minimum insurance coverage of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident bodily injury, and $50,000 in property damage.

Florida Law 324.022

Florida law 324.022 [3] is Florida’s financial responsibility law. Drivers who are considered high risk must carry additional insurance to cover bodily injury and property damage in the event that they cause an accident. Florida law 324.022 says that every owner or driver of a motor vehicle who has a qualifying event shall maintain the ability to respond in damages for liability. The driver may meet the requirements with an insurance policy, or they may self-insure.

Is Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law the Same Thing as Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law?

No, Florida’s financial responsibility law is not the same thing as Florida’s no-fault insurance law. The no-fault insurance law applies to everyone. All drivers in Florida have to have no-fault insurance. The minimums are relatively low – you need to have only $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance, for example. You must also have $10,000 to cover you for property damage.

Florida No-Fault Insurance

The insurance coverage that’s required for all drivers falls under the no-fault system. When you’re in a crash, your own insurance is meant to cover you so that you can get immediate, no-hassle payment for your personal losses. All drivers who live in Florida or have a car in Florida for 90 days of the year have to have this kind of insurance.

Florida Financial Responsibility Insurance

The Florida financial responsibility law is an additional requirement that applies only to specific categories of drivers. For example, if you have a drunk driving conviction, you fall under the financial responsibility law. If you previously caused a serious accident, the law applies to you. Even a series of traffic tickets can trigger the Florida financial responsibility law. For drivers who don’t have a qualifying condition, the Florida financial responsibility law is nothing to be concerned about.

But for drivers that have a qualifying condition, they must have extra insurance in addition to their no-fault insurance. The financial responsibility law is the name of the law that requires extra insurance. For drivers that the law applies to, they have to have enough insurance or enough personal funds to cover certain amounts of damages if they cause an accident. A driver may meet the requirements by purchasing insurance or by depositing a minimum amount of funds and showing proof of the deposit. Most people meet the requirements by purchasing insurance.

When Must You Comply With the Financial Responsibility Law?

You must comply with the financial responsibility law if you have a qualifying event under the law that makes you a high-risk driver. In Florida, you must comply with the financial responsibility law after you get a drunk driving conviction, after you cause a serious accident or after you have a certain number of traffic tickets. You must provide proof of your compliance with the financial responsibility law to operate lawfully on the roads.

What Car Insurance Is Required by Law in Florida?

The car insurance that is required in Florida is personal injury protection insurance and property damage insurance. All drivers must have insurance that pays for their own medical bills up to $10,000 without regard to fault in the event of an accident. They must also have car insurance that covers a minimum amount of property damage.

For drivers that fall under Florida’s financial responsibility laws, they must carry additional insurance that covers at-fault bodily injury and property damage. Only high-risk drivers with a history of risky driving behaviors like DUI or a number of traffic tickets must carry financial responsibility insurance in addition to general no-fault insurance in Florida.

Contact Our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys

Have you been in a car accident? Are you wondering how financial liability applies after you’ve been in a car accident? You have important rights.

Let our attorneys guide you through the accident claims process. Even if you bring your case directly through your own insurance company, our attorneys can assure that your claims process is fast and that your insurance policy honors the terms of your contract. If you qualify to bring a third-party claim, our legal team fights until you have the compensation that you deserve. Call us today for your free consultation.

Sources

[1] Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Florida Insurance Requirements. Retrieved 10 October 2019 from https://www.flhsmv.gov/insurance/

[2] FLA. STAT. § 324.021 (2019)

[3] FLA. STAT. § 324.022 (2019)

About the Author

Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.

For more than 36 years, personal injury lawyer Jack G. Bernstein has protected the rights of individuals who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Mr. Bernstein is a member of the Florida State Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Association.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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