Is bodily injury (BI) liability coverage is required on a Florida auto insurance policy?
It depends on the type of vehicle and its use.
Let’s take a look at different types of vehicles in Florida and their use so we can see which are required to have BI liability coverage.
Table of contents
- Private Passenger Vehicles
- Drunk Drivers Must Have Liability Coverage
- Rental Cars
- Commercial Motor Vehicles (Trucks, etc.)
- Uber, Lyft and other rideshare drivers
- Taxicabs and Limousines
- Nonpublic sector buses; additional liability insurance coverage
- People Who Rent Out Their Cars (e.g. Turo, etc.)
- Were you Seriously Injured in a Car Accident in Florida?
Private Passenger Vehicles
In Florida, the owner of a private passenger vehicle does not have to have BI liability coverage on the policy. A private passenger vehicle is one where natural persons are the named insureds.
A 2012 study stated that 23.8% percent of Florida drivers have no BI liability coverage. This is the most recent study that I am aware of.
Drunk Drivers Must Have Liability Coverage
However, there is an exception if you’ve been previously found guilty of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of driving under the influence (DUI).
If so, you must have liability insurance in the amount of $100,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, one person in any one crash, and in the amount of $300,000 because of bodily injury to, or death of, two or more persons in any one crash. Florida Statute 324.023.
Some Florida rental car companies agree that, under Florida’s financial responsibility law, they are liable up to $10,000 per person/$20,000 per crash for bodily injury from a rental driver’s negligence. Others take the position that they are not liable for a driver’s negligence.
I have heard that Hertz has started to argue that unless the rental car company was negligent, Hertz is not responsible for the minimum $10,000 per person requirement.
Commercial Motor Vehicles (Trucks, etc.)
Learn which trucks in Florida are required to have bodily injury (BI) liability insurance coverage. See different examples.
Uber, Lyft and other rideshare drivers
Florida has minimum liability insurance coverage requirements for Uber and Lyft drivers. Uber and Lyft insures its drivers for $50,000/$100,000 per individual/per accident in BIL insurance if the driver had the app on but was not engaged in a ride. They have $25,000 in property damage liability insurance.
If the Uber or Lyft driver was engaged in a ride, they have a $1 million per accident BIL insurance policy. The Uber driver and passengers are also entitled to up to $1 million in uninsured motorist insurance per accident.
Progressive insures Uber in Florida.
Zurich American Insurance Company insures Lyft. York Risk Services Group handles Lyft’s claims.
Taxicabs and Limousines
Taxicabs and limousines must have a motor vehicle liability policy with minimum limits of $125,000 in bodily injury per person, $250,000 in bodily injury per incident, $50,000 in property damage liability. Florida Statute 324.032(a).
Nonpublic sector buses; additional liability insurance coverage
A nonpublic sector bus is private bus, such as Greyhound, Mears and many others.
In addition to any other insurance requirements, each nonpublic sector bus in Florida must have a policy of insurance providing for bodily liability insurance and property damage liability in a sum of not less than $300,000. Florida Statute 627.742.
People Who Rent Out Their Cars (e.g. Turo, etc.)
For accidents in Florida that occur on or after January 1, 2022, an owner who rents his or her car under a peer-to-peer car sharing program does NOT need to carry bodily injury liability coverage. Florida Statute 627.7483
Turo is an example of a peer-to-peer car sharing program. Before January 1, 2022, Turo provided BI liability and property damage liability coverage.
It had a $1,000,000 combined single limit per occurrence for owners during the rental period, designed to be on a primary basis.
During the “delivery period” (i.e., the period starting when the owner is actively delivering the car to the renter, and ending when the car is delivered, and excluding any period when the owner (or their designee) is on the way to retrieve or has retrieved the car from the renter), and only so long as the owner (or their designee) satisfies the eligibility requirements and is therefore an approved Turo driver, this coverage applies as well.
Example of a Case Against Someone Who Rents Out Their Car
Michelle rents out her car to Beverly in Miami, Florida using the service, Turo. Beverly runs a red light and crashes into Diana. Beverly does not own a car.
Diana is taken by ambulance to the hospital. She is diagnosed with a wrist fracture. She gets surgery.
Assume that Diana’s out of pocket medical bills are $30,000 or so. Assume that the full value of the pain and suffering component of the case for settlement purposes is $170,000.
Let’s say that the settlement value of Diana’s personal injury claim is $200,000. In Florida, the owner of a motor vehicle who lends the vehicle to a permissive user, is liable for the operation of the vehicle or acts of the operator in connection therewith only up to certain amount.
In this case, Michelle is only liable to Diana in the amount of $130,000. This is because she is solely liable because she owns the car.
For accidents in Florida before January 1, 2022, Turo’s insurer was required to pay Diana $130,000 for her personal injury claim. But this is no longer the case if the claim is solely based on the fact that the car was “rented” via Turo.
In order for Michelle to owe Diana compensation for her injuries, Michelle must be negligent. Some examples of negligence include renting out the car with:
- A Broken taillight or headlight
- Not enough tread on the tires
- Brakes that don’t work properly
Did someone’s carelessness cause your injury in a Florida car crash or other type of accident?
Were you Seriously Injured in a Car Accident in Florida?
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