Is a motorcyclist required to purchase coverage on their motorcycle under Florida Law?
Many people are of the belief that motorcycles do not have to be insured in the State of Florida, however this is not entirely true. Although motorcycles are treated differently than automobiles under the standard Florida No-Fault insurance requirements, they are required to carry $10,000.00 in Property Damage Liability coverage on their motorcycles under Florida Statutes 324.021 and 324.022. This is coverage that provides for compensation to the party whose vehicle the motorcyclist causes damage to if the motorcyclist is determined to be the at-fault party in an accident. Additionally, under Florida Statute 324.021, the motorcyclist is required to purchase $10,000.00 per person, $20,000.00 per occurrence, in Bodily Injury Liability coverage to compensate an injured person who the motorcyclist is deemed to have caused injury as a result of an accident.
Since the Florida No-Fault Law excludes motorcyclists from the requirement of carrying Personal Injury Protection coverage, many people are under the impression there is no requirement for a motorcycle to carry any type of coverage. If a motorcyclist does not purchase the two coverages mentioned above and is involved in an accident, then the state can suspend the motorcyclist’s driver’s license due to non-compliance.
What happens when a motorcyclist is injured in an accident that is not the motorcyclist’s fault?
This is a situation where the law falls short and potentially fails to protect the injured party, the motorcyclist. Since a motorcyclist is excluded from the requirement of carrying Personal Injury Protection coverage (No-Fault), there is no immediate coverage to pay for an injured motorcyclist’s medical bills. Furthermore, Florida law does not require an automobile owner to carry Bodily Injury Liability coverage if they have me the requirement of purchasing Personal Injury Protection coverage. Therefore, the motorcyclist, the party who is more likely to suffer injury in an automobile versus motorcycle accident, cannot count on the at-fault party having coverage (Bodily Injury Liability) to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages from their injuries.
Thus, I highly recommend that all motorcyclists protect themselves against potential future injuries from vehicle accidents and purchase insurance coverage, such as Medical Payments coverage which pays your medical bills at 100 percent up to the limit you purchase, as well as Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage which will potentially pay for your bodily injury damages if the at-fault party does not carry Bodily Injury Liability coverage, or does not have enough of that coverage to fully satisfy your damages. For additional information on available coverages for motorcyclist and other motor vehicles, please visit our website at www.chuckphilips.com.