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Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Florida

Having automobile insurance is something that helps protect people financially both if they are found to be at fault in an accident or if another driver is at fault in an accident they are involved in. Damages to vehicles and people that arise from car accidents can get very expensive, very fast. Because of this, most states require people to have a minimum amount of car insurance coverage to drive legally in the state.

Since people are not getting into accidents every year, sometimes people believe that they can save some money by not purchasing an auto insurance policy. With all of the other necessary expenses that people have, it seems to be one of the expenses people think that they can get by without. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common myth and misconception. People can find their licenses suspended, or that they are charged hefty fines for driving without insurance. Also, when people get into accidents, their finances can be completely depleted from the costs of a car accident. Auto insurance protects them from this.

Florida Insurance Requirements

Florida has minimum requirements for legally driving in the state. The state is a “no-fault” insurance state, which means that there are laws requiring vehicle owners to carry both property damage liability insurance, in the amount of $10,000, as well as personal injury protection or PIP in the amount of $10,000 minimum. Many drivers decide to get insurance in higher amounts to further protect them in case an accident occurs. Drivers are required to have these insurance coverages in place before getting their tags and registration.

Florida also requires both of these insurance coverages to be held for the entirety of the registration you apply for. If your car is registered for a year, you need a year of auto insurance coverage. Driving without insurance in Florida is illegal. People who are looking to drop their insurance, for any reason, must surrender their license plates before the insurance expires. If they do not, they risk severe penalties and fines from the state.

Penalties For Driving Without Insurance

While not all states require that insurance companies notify them if insurance lapses or is canceled, in Florida, they are required by law to do so. If this happens, you will be notified by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. They will request that you provide proof of coverage through a new policy or that you show your current policy. Failure to provide proof of insurance can result in your in both your license plates and your license being suspended for up to three years. Your registration could also be suspended for up to three years as well. Reinstatement of these things will require both proof of the new policy and payment of fees. These fees can add up to more than the rates you would be paying for an insurance policy, plus you still need to buy a policy to get your license reinstated.

Florida also has systems in place to prevent people from trying to save money by going without car insurance for a month or two here or there. The proof of insurance that you are required to provide needs to be in place before your old policy was canceled. If this is not the case, your plates, license, and registration will be suspended. This is the case even if the lapse was only a day or two.

First Time Offenses

First-time offenses have a lower reinstatement fee structure than additional offenses do. Reinstatement will cost a fee of $150, and you will also need to provide proof of a new policy.

Additional Offenses

If you have additional offenses that occur, within a specified period, your reinstatement fee will increase first to $250 for the second offense, and then to $500 for the third offense. With more offenses than that, the penalties can be even more severe.

Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In An Accident

If you are ever pulled over by a law enforcement officer, you will need to be prepared to show your Florida Insurance ID card to them. Not having proof of insurance on you when you are pulled over may result in a ticket, and you will have to pay a fee. Also, if your plates have been suspended for failure to comply with Financial Responsibility or No-Fault laws, a temporary replacement license will be unavailable to you, even if you need it for work.

Driving without insurance comes with some significant risks, and these are risks that you should be aware of. Car accidents can be very serious and result in expensive injuries and property damage bills. Having an insurance policy protects you from having your assets wiped out or severely depleted because of an accident. Even though Florida is a no-fault state, you can still be sued for the costs of serious injuries that you cause as a result of a crash. Some people do choose to purchase additional insurance coverage in case a more severe accident happens.

You will want to have proof of insurance on you at all times when you are driving. If you get into an accident, you will need to exchange insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved. In some cases, the police will need to be notified, and you will need to present proof of insurance to them. Make sure to follow up with your insurance company as needed after an accident occurs. By providing both the police and the insurance company with adequate information, the process of filing a claim will be a lot easier to do and the process will be a lot smoother overall.

How They Know You Don’t Have Coverage

There are a few different ways that the state knows you do not have coverage. First off, car insurance providers are required to notify the state if your insurance policy is canceled or lapses. This information is accessible to police officers when they pull you over as well. In addition, you are required to carry your Florida Insurance ID card to provide easy access to your insurance information.

Final Notes

Sometimes people try to save money by canceling their auto insurance policy, but this is not a good plan. The penalties for driving without insurance in the state of Florida mean that you will likely end up paying quite a bit more money in the long run. Not only that but if you get into a car crash, the expenses add up quickly. Take the time to compare car insurance rates from multiple companies using the free quotes for car insurance, and tools, that you find here on this site.

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