To say Florida’s motorcycle insurance requirements are confusing is a major understatement. Is motorcycle insurance required? Technically, you don’t have to purchase a policy to buy a bike, and you don’t even need it to register your motorcycle. But if you choose not to purchase motorcycle insurance, you could face severe liability and harsh penalties.
The Fran Haasch Law Group motorcycle accident attorneys have a long track record of success helping riders who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of others. If this has happened to you, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free evaluation of your case.
How Do I Register My Motorcycle in Florida?
To register your motorcycle, you’ll need to bring the following documents to a Florida DMV office:
• A completed Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (Form 82040).
• Proof of ownership. This can be a bill of sale or a title certificate from another state. If you’re buying the bike from a dealer with temporary tags, use Form HSMV 82050 instead.
• An odometer disclosure statement certifies that all odometer information is accurate and correct. VIN verification form HSMV 82042 if the vehicle’s VIN doesn’t match any paperwork relating to it; this may happen if an insurance company previously totaled it out after a crash. You should also provide a registration and title certificate from the state where it was totaled.
• Proof of Florida motorcycle insurance, such as your ID card or policy documents. If you’re not insured, you’ll need to provide proof of financial responsibility. More on this later.
• Your driver’s license or another form of personal identification like a passport. The DMV will verify that your address matches what’s listed in their records before accepting any other forms of ID; if there are discrepancies, you’ll need to update your information with them first.
Florida Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Requirements
You also have the option of buying additional coverage, such as comprehensive and collision coverage. This will help pay for repairs (or replacement) if your motorcycle is damaged in a crash, regardless of who was driving or who was at fault. It can also cover theft, fire, and other hazards.
If you’re financing your motorcycle, the lender will likely require that you buy collision and comprehensive insurance to protect their investment.
Unless you have unlimited financial resources, you really should at least consider purchasing liability coverage. Again, insurance isn’t a requirement to purchase or register your bike. But if you decide to go without it, you’ll have to provide proof of financial responsibility. The following section provides information on how to go about doing that.
How to Show Proof of Financial Responsibility in Florida
If you choose not to buy motorcycle insurance in Florida, you need to show proof of financial responsibility. You can do this by:
• Obtaining a $35,000 surety bond through an insurer licensed with the state. This will cover any damages or injuries caused by your bike and/or negligence on your part when operating it (up to $30,000). It’s also limited for one year only – so if something happens after that time period has elapsed (e.g., three years), then there won’t be any coverage available at all.
• Filing an affidavit stating that the value of your assets is over $50,000 ($60k+ if married). This must include vehicles owned outright without a loan, as well as cash, savings, and investments.
• Buying $30,000 in liability insurance from a company licensed to do business in Florida. This will provide continuous coverage for your bike (and you) no matter what.
If you can’t meet any of the above criteria, one option is to get an FR-44 form from your car insurer. This is similar to SR-22 insurance required for drivers with DUI convictions; it shows that you’re carrying at least $100,000 worth of liability insurance. Note that this isn’t motorcycle-specific – so if something happens while riding and you don’t have an FR-44 on file, you may not be covered.
Wait – My Auto insurance Doesn’t Cover My Motorcycle?
Unless you specifically tell your car insurance company that you’re also driving a motorcycle, they probably won’t have coverage for it. That’s because motorcycles are considered “high-risk vehicles” and can be expensive to insure. So if you get into an accident while riding, your car insurer may not pay out anything (depending on the terms of your policy). If this is the case, you’ll need to purchase separate motorcycle insurance from a provider who specializes in that type of coverage. Talk to a local insurance agent to learn more.
Does Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Coverage Apply to Motorcycles?
The short answer is: No. Florida’s no-fault insurance applies to cars and trucks, not motorcycles.
Motorcycle accidents can be serious – so it’s important to have the right insurance in place before hitting the open road. For more information on motorcycle coverage in Florida, contact a local agent today.
What Happens if You Get Into A Motorcycle Accident Without Insurance?
If someone gets into a motorcycle accident while uninsured in Florida – especially when they cause serious injuries to others – then it’s possible they could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $5000 (this penalty increases with subsequent offenses).
You’ll probably face motorcycle license suspension if it’s your first offense; this can last anywhere from 30 days up to one year depending on circumstances surrounding the incident. The court may also require that you complete traffic school before reinstating your license.
You could lose your vehicle registration, too – not only will they take away any vehicles registered under your name until another policy is purchased, but they could also permanently revoke your right to own a vehicle in the state of Florida.
Are Motorcycles More Dangerous Than Cars?
It’s true: motorcycles are more dangerous than cars. But there are ways we can reduce our risk while riding by following traffic rules, staying alert at all times, and wearing proper safety equipment.
Motorcycle accident statistics show that helmets save lives. And while they’re not required for all riders (depending on state law), most experts agree we should always wear them when riding a motorcycle or ATV since these vehicles offer less protection than cars do during accidents.
How Much Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Do You Need?
This is a difficult question to answer without knowing more about your riding habits and the type of bike you’re driving. However, most providers offer a variety of coverage levels – from basic liability protection to comprehensive policies that include collision and theft coverage, medical payments coverage, and more.
It’s important to have the right kind of motorcycle insurance policy in case you’re involved in an accident. The minimum amount of coverage required by law will usually not be enough to cover damages caused by an accident. So it’s important to speak with an agent about what kind of policy would best suit your needs.
What Different Types of Motorcycle Coverage are Available?
There are four main types of motorcycle coverage: liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM).
Liability insurance covers injuries or damage you cause to others while riding your bike. It’s the most basic type of policy and is required in most states.
Collision coverage pays for damages to your bike if you hit another vehicle or object – regardless of who was at fault. This type of policy is usually recommended for anyone who rides a motorcycle regularly.
Comprehensive coverage protects your bike from all sorts of incidents, such as theft, fire, animal collisions, and vandalism. It’s typically recommended for those who ride in high-risk areas or those whose bikes are worth a lot of money.
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for damages and injuries in an accident where the other driver is uninsured or does not have enough coverage.
What is Seasonal Motorcycle Insurance?
Seasonal motorcycle insurance is a type of policy riders who only ride during certain times of the year typically use. For example, suppose you live in Florida but own property up north. This could be beneficial because it would allow you to avoid paying for coverage all year long while still getting protection when needed most (i.e., summer months).
What are the Benefits Of Motorcycle Insurance?
The benefits of having motorcycle insurance include: peace of mind knowing your bike will be covered from any accidents or damage caused by other drivers; financial protection against expensive repairs due to fire or theft; and an increased safety net should something happen on the road such as hitting another vehicle or getting hit yourself without being at fault for causing the accident.
So, while Florida doesn’t require motorcycle insurance, the smart thing to do is purchase a policy. An experienced agent can tell you more.
Contact The Fran Haasch Law Group if You’re in an Accident
If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, The Fran Haasch Law Group will fight to help make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us as soon as you can for a free case evaluation.