Frequently Asked Questions
-Who are you?
We are an independent insurance agency. Insurers (insurance companies) will often use insurance agents to initially market or underwrite their customers. Agents can be captive, meaning they write only for one company; or independent, meaning that they can issue policies from several companies, same as we do.
- Do I need Insurance?
The purpose of insurance is to transfer a risk that you can afford (i.e. the payment of a premium with no guarantee of its return) to cover a risk you cannot afford. For example, what homeowner does not insure his or her personal residence from damage by fire? Besides your attorney and accountant, another professional you will need to bring into the start-up process will be your insurance agent. It may be helpful to have one agent who can handle all of your insurance needs. There are policies available that are specifically designed to cover small businesses that, in one package, will cover most of your insurance needs. Insurance is not only going to be important to you, but it will be important to your other business relationships. For example, if you choose to lease office space, the landlord will typically require that you furnish a certificate of insurance or be listed as an additional insured on your policy as assurance that your business will not disappear overnight in the event a loss occurs.
- I live outside Florida for six months a year. When not in Florida, my vehicle is in storage and not used. Must I maintain automobile insurance?
Yes. Any vehicle holding a valid Florida tag and registration must be covered by a Florida insurance policy throughout the entire registration period. When you leave Florida, you may surrender your tag and registration at the nearest driver license or tag office to avoid maintaining your policy. You can always register your vehicle upon your return to Florida, at which time you can provide proof of Florida insurance.
- I am not a resident of Florida but I have business that keeps me in Florida sometimes for several months at a time. Must I comply with Florida's insurance laws?
Yes. Any person who has a vehicle in Florida for more than 90 days during a 365-day period must purchase personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance coverage. The 90 days do not have to be consecutive.
- I own multiple vehicles. Some are not used for different reasons, but the county I live in requires that the vehicles remain registered. Must I maintain insurance coverage on these vehicles?
Yes. Insurance coverage must be maintained throughout the entire vehicle registration period. - What can I do to avoid a driving privilege suspension when I choose not to insure a vehicle? To avoid a driving privilege suspension, surrender the vehicle's tag and registration at any Florida driver license or tag office, prior to canceling your insurance policy.
- If my driving privilege is suspended for no insurance, will I be granted a temporary driver license for working purposes?
No. There is no provision in Florida's motor vehicle insurance laws for the issuance of any sort of temporary or restricted driver license for financial responsibility suspensions.
- I am self-employed as a taxi driver and the only vehicle I own is used as a taxicab. Must I carry automobile insurance? No. Vehicles that are registered for use as taxicabs and limousines are exempt from the mandatory personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance coverage. However, if you cause a crash, and you do not have full coverage, including bodily injury liability at the time of the crash, you must purchase insurance with full liability coverage and meet other requirements. (See questions on crashes for additional compliance requirements.)
- I was involved in an automobile crash caused by someone else. Who can I turn to for help in recovering damages to my vehicle and for my injuries?
The sole purpose of the Bureau of Financial Responsibility is to ensure that people are responsible for their actions involving motor vehicles. We do this by making sure everyone has insurance to pay for the damages they cause, or they may cause, when they own a motor vehicle or register a motor vehicle. We will help you recover your damages and be compensated for your injuries. The following information goes into greater detail on how we help people in these situations. Here is what we need from you.
1. Crash Report from a law enforcement agency that investigated the crash. The report must indicate a moving violation charge. Obtain this at the earliest and send it to us. Even if you don't do so, we will process the crash within the next 2-3 months automatically;
2. Proceed to obtain a final judgement from a court against the at-fault party and send the final judgement with the crash report to us. This is what will happen.
a) If the party had PIP insurance but no Bodily Injury coverage and you sustained both damages and injuries. You can obtain the insurance details for property damage coverage from us and file for the damages with their insurance company. The judgement will be enforced for injuries. While normally the law provides us authority to suspend a license of an uninsured party only for 3 years, in the case we have a judgement, we have the authority to suspend licenses, tags and registrations for a period of 20 years or until the judgement is satisfied.
b) If the party had no insurance at all. The judgement will be immediately enforced and the at-fault party's license, tags, and registrations will be suspended for 20 years or until the entire judgement is satisfied. The reports and judgement must be sent to: Bureau of Financial Responsibility 2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 97 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0585
- What type of automobile insurance coverage is required for a person causing a crash?
The Florida Financial Responsibility Law requires that any person at fault in a crash resulting in bodily injury and property damage to others must have in effect at the time of the crash full liability insurance coverage. This coverage includes minimum limits of bodily injury liability of $10,000 per person, $20,000 per crash, $10,000 property damage liability per crash, and personal injury protection limits of $10,000 per person per crash.
- What should I do if I am involved in an automobile crash?
Always insist that the crash be reported to law enforcement so that a law enforcement officer can complete the appropriate forms. We advise you not to negotiate a payment agreement with the other parties to settle damages. Doing it on your own without a crash report from a law enforcement officer could result in your not being fully compensated for damages and can expose you to personal liability since no official report of the crash exists and circumstances become your word against theirs. Our department will be unable to assist you if there is no crash report filled out by a law enforcement officer. Other suggestions include making sure the investigating officer records complete insurance information on the crash report.