How to Obtain Motorcycle Insurance in Florida
In many states, the process and requirements for obtaining motorcycle insurance are no different than obtaining insurance for any other vehicle. However, the state of Florida is an exception. There are several alternate laws for motorcycle insurance in Florida, and the process of obtaining it is different, as well. This article will explain the ins and outs of obtaining motorcycle insurance in Florida.
What qualifies as a motorcycle in Florida?
First, you should be aware of exactly what types of vehicles the state defines as a motorcycle. The state considers any two-wheeled motorized vehicle with a 50cc engine displacement or higher to be a motorcycle. Like cars and other larger vehicles, motorcycles must be titled, registered, and taken financial responsibility for (although Florida offers alternatives to insurance in this area and does not legally require the vehicle to be insured, per se). Any vehicle that does not meet these requirements is considered a moped and is not subject to the same registration and financial responsibility laws.
The Personal Injury Protection (PIP) exception
Although Florida takes a neutral “no-fault” approach to financial responsibility (meaning that, in the event of an accident, financial responsibility for any damage done to any and all parties’ person or property is generally dealt with through each party’s insurer) thus requiring car owners enroll in a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) plan, Floridian motorcyclists are a unique exception to this. Rather than requiring specific injury insurance, the state requires that your health insurance be able to cover at least $10,000 worth of damages and/or injury ($20,000 is required if you want to ride with a passenger). This can come from the owner’s primary form of health insurance entirely if their coverage meets that requirement.
So how do I obtain insurance?
First, you’ll want to make sure your motorcycle is titled and that you possess a physical, original copy of the title as proof of ownership. Additionally, you’ll need to understand the difference in licensure requirements in Florida between obtaining a standard driver’s license and a motorcycle license (the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) has the necessary information regarding this licensure and its process). Providing both proof of ownership (title) and proof of licensure is a state requirement for obtaining insurance on any vehicle, and no insurer is within legal rights to waive these requirements for any reason.
Beyond those two legal requirements of proof (which, in and of themselves, are not unique to the state of Florida in any way), deciding which company through which you would like to purchase insurance will depend on how much coverage you want on your motorcycle (liability, full coverage, or something in between) and the cost of each individual policy from each company depending on what you want. Be sure and do your due diligence; you’ll want to read each policy, being careful to observe any differences and any omissions of circumstantial or other coverage one might offer over another. doing this research on each company and policy could ultimately save you a lot of money and hassle. Also, perhaps this is obvious, but make sure the company you’re considering is legally authorized to provide insurance in Florida. The Department of Motor Vehicles website is a great tool to make sure your preferred company can operate locally.
Finding the right motorcycle insurance can seem a bit daunting, to say the least, but it’s generally the best way to ensure that you’ve followed the state’s financial responsibility laws and, equally importantly, protected yourself in case of an incident while riding down the open roads of the great Sunshine State.