In 2021, lawmakers pushed to repeal Florida no-fault insurance laws. However, their efforts were unsuccessful, with Governor Ron DeSantis issuing a veto1 for the bill that would have drastically overhauled car accident liability in the Sunshine State.
Drivers need to know what the requirements are when they take to the roads. Our car accident lawyers in Tampa explain personal injury protection and Florida state requirements in 2021.
What Are the Florida PIP Requirements in 2021?
The Florida PIP requirements in 2021 are for each vehicle registered in the state to have $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. The insurance must pay no-fault benefits to the insured, residents in their household, vehicle operators and others in the event of an accident. In addition to PIP requirements, drivers must also carry $10,000 of property damage liability insurance.
Did Florida Do Away With PIP?
No, Florida did not do away with PIP2. Although lawmakers initially passed a bill to end PIP and move to a fault-based car accident compensation system, Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the bill, citing a projected increase in car insurance premiums and burdensome litigation for accident victims. Current law still requires proof of PIP insurance to register a vehicle in the State of Florida.
Is PIP in Florida Going Away?
As of 2021, PIP in Florida is not going away. Efforts to repeal it have not succeeded. Florida is still among a minority of states requiring owners of registered vehicles to carry proof of PIP insurance.
What Is PIP in Florida?
PIP in Florida is no-fault insurance. Vehicle owners carry it, and it provides access to up to $10,000 in compensation for medical bills in the event of an accident. The purpose of PIP is to provide victims with covered medical care without having to prove fault. Compensation for lost wages and death benefits are also available.
What Is the Florida PIP Statute?
The Florida PIP statute is Florida Statutes § 627.7363. It says that an insurance policy must cover the insured as well as others who reside in the household or who may be involved in the accident, like passengers or pedestrians. In addition, Florida Statutes § 324.0214 states that every vehicle that is self-propelled and designed for use on a highway must carry the required insurance.
Is Personal Injury Protection Required in Florida?
Yes, personal injury protection is required in Florida. A vehicle must be insured at the time of registration in the state. Even non-residents must have a Florida insurance policy if they accept employment or enroll children in a public school in the state.
What Does PIP Cover in Florida?
PIP insurance in Florida covers:
- The insured
- Residents in the household of the insured
- Vehicle operators
- Passengers in the motor vehicle
- Others struck while not in a vehicle
An insured may voluntarily limit coverage to certain household members.
The PIP coverage includes:
- Medical bills – up to 80% including medical-surgical, x-ray, dental, rehabilitation, ambulance, hospital and nursing
- Medical coverage is up to $10,000, with the deductible subtracted from total charges prior to application of the reimbursement limitation. If there is no medical emergency, benefits are capped at $2,500
- 60% loss of income and earning capacity
- Death benefits up to $5,000
Benefits are overdue if not paid within 30 days of notice. If benefits are rejected or paid in part, the insurance company must provide an itemized explanation of benefits.
What Is the Minimum PIP Coverage in Florida?
The minimum PIP coverage in Florida is $10,000. All vehicle owners must carry at least this amount. However, they may take steps to minimize cost by limiting coverage to specific household members and selecting a deductible of up to $1,000.
What Is the Maximum PIP Coverage in Florida?
The maximum PIP coverage in Florida is $10,000. However, drivers looking for extra coverage can elect for MedPay to cover medical expenses that PIP does not cover. They may also choose uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, which may compensate for medical bills if the at-fault driver does not carry adequate insurance.
Can You Waive PIP in Florida?
No, you cannot waive PIP in Florida. It is required under state law. You can do things to lower the cost, like electing a high deductible and excluding some household members from coverage.
Are Non-Residents Required To Have PIP Coverage in Florida?
Non-residents must have PIP coverage in Florida if a vehicle is present in the state for 90 days in a one-year period. In addition, people accepting employment in the state and people who put their children in a public school in the state must also have coverage for their vehicles.
What Is MedPay?
MedPay is voluntary, supplemental car insurance available in the State of Florida. It provides additional coverage for medical expenses above and beyond what is covered by PIP insurance. While MedPay covers medical costs only, PIP covers a range of losses, including lost wages and death benefits.
Is Bodily Injury Coverage Required in Florida?
No, Florida does not require bodily injury coverage. The State of Florida requires drivers to have $10,000 each in PIP and PDL coverage, and that’s it. However, it may be necessary for individuals with DUI convictions under Florida Statutes § 324.0235. Drivers covered by the Florida financial responsibility law are considered high-risk and are required to carry significant amounts of bodily injury insurance coverage.
If you don’t have bodily injury insurance coverage in Florida, you may be personally liable for damages following a car accident.
What Can I Do if Insurance Won’t Fairly Pay Me PIP Benefits?
If your insurance doesn’t pay your PIP benefits fairly, you may appeal and file a legal claim. The insurance company must pay a valid claim in good faith within 30 days. If they don’t, you don’t have to give up. Instead, you can pursue appeals and take the case to court for a decision from a neutral third party.
Lawyers for Car Accidents Involving PIP
If you have been in a car accident, we invite you to contact our experienced personal injury attorneys in Tampa. Our lawyers handle car accidents involving PIP, and we can help you bring your claim for compensation. Contact us today for your free consultation.
1Mower, Lawrence. (30 June 2021). DeSantis vetoes auto insurance overhaul bill. Tampa Bay Times.
2Insurance Journal. (30 June 2021). Florida Governor Cites ‘Unintended Consequences’ in Veto of Auto Insurance Bill.