In Florida, there are different minimum insurance requirements for personal and commercial vehicles. The line gets murky when you use your personal vehicle for business, most notably as a rideshare or food app delivery driver. Generally, Florida views any vehicle as “commercial” if you regularly use it as part of doing your job.
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance, which means drivers rely on their personal policies if they are in an accident. When you register your vehicle, you must prove that you have purchased the minimum Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which covers 80 percent of medical expenses up to $10,000, to treat injuries from an auto accident. You must also purchase at least $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance, which covers the property damage you or someone driving your car causes to another person.
If you register a vehicle as a taxi, you must carry minimum insurance of $125,000 per person for bodily injury liability (BIL) and $250,000 BIL for each accident, along with $50,000 for PDL coverage.
If you are given a vehicle to use for work, such as delivering food for a restaurant, your employer owns and insures it, providing you valuable coverage if you are in a crash.
If you use your personal vehicle to transport passengers for Uber or Lyft, you should know that rideshare companies offer some protection against accidents, but it can be complicated. Generally, these services categorize you and your vehicle as operating in Phases 1, 2, or 3. In Phase 1, your rideshare app is turned off and you are not seeking passengers, so you would rely on your personal insurance if you are in an accident. In Phases 2 and 3, when you are actively waiting for or transporting passengers, the rideshare companies provide additional coverage for third-party liability and collision.
Scrimping on insurance coverage is not a good idea. If you fail to alert your personal insurer that you operate your vehicle to transport passengers, and you are then involved in an accident, they will deny your claim. If you opt for the minimum PIP and PDL, but the other driver’s medical bills and property damage exceed the amount of your coverage, and you were the cause of the accident, they can file a personal injury lawsuit against you to make up the difference.
Insurers are notorious for denying or lowballing personal injury claims, especially for car accidents. They are in business to make money, and the less they settle with you, the more their shareholders see.
Your car accident attorney must review evidence, police reports, medical information, and witness statements before negotiating for an insurance settlement with a motorist’s carrier.
When one motorist causes an accident, and an insurance settlement is insufficient to cover the injured party’s losses, the plaintiff’s lawyer could take it to court. The attorney must prove the defendant’s negligence for a jury to award compensation. Maintaining adequate insurance coverage is a crucial way to avoid becoming embroiled in a lawsuit.
Florida law outlines the insurance requirements you must follow for personal and commercial vehicles. If you use a personal vehicle for business purposes, make sure you understand how that affects you. When you are involved in an auto collision that may require using this insurance, call the full-service law firm of Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon to work on your case.