Anyone who drives an automobile in Florida, irrespective of the type or size, must carry liability insurance of at least $10K – this is a requirement of the law. Driving without insurance is a serious crime in the Sunshine State. Even though many drivers carry the minimum liability insurance, if another driver seriously injures you, you will only be able to recover a maximum of $10K from the insurer. If your injuries are more serious and require more treatment, all additional costs for your injuries can only be recovered by suing the other driver.
Florida truck Insurance requirements for the trucking industry, however, are different. There are specific state and federal laws that require much higher insurance coverage for truckers. The reasons for this include:
- Truckers spend more time on the road, and the risk of accidents is also increased.
- Trucks have huge blind spots, which increase the risk of collisions.
- Trucks are much bigger than cars, and, consequently, if a collision occurs, the damages are more extensive, and the injuries are more serious.
- Trucks can also carry a wide range of items, including hazardous materials that increase the risk of serious injuries if/when a collision occurs.
Trucks that carry hazardous materials must carry much higher truck insurance coverage than those carrying regular cargo. Florida truck insurance requires that the trucking company carry a minimum of $5 million liability insurance to cover any personal injury and property damage.
For other commercial trucks, the minimum liability insurance depends on the weight of the truck and varies from $50K to $750K. But, in reality, most trucking companies tend to carry insurance policies that are much higher than the state-required minimum to avoid getting sued for serious personal injuries.
Other Types Of Insurance Policies
Besides the minimum liability insurance, there are several other types of policies that offer different coverage, and they include the following:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is often referred to as no-fault insurance. This policy will help cover the cost of lost wages, medical bills, or funeral costs following a truck accident. Each state has its own requirements for this insurance policy; in some states, it is mandatory.
- Liability insurance is required in most states and is a standard component of most automobile insurance policies. Liability insurance helps in two main ways: if you are responsible for causing an injury to another individual, the liability insurance will help cover the individual’s medical bills and any damages to his or her property, like a car or a home.
- Uninsured motorist insurance will pay for the medical bills following a collision in which the at-fault driver has limited or no insurance at all, or in the case of a hit-and-run case. In some states, it is mandatory to carry uninsured motorist insurance. It is estimated that anywhere from 12-20% of drivers on US roads do not have any insurance; therefore, this policy is highly recommended.
- An incidental insurance policy can help pay for any damage to the vehicle caused by a natural disaster, bad weather, like hail, tornado, etc. It usually covers damage to the glass and the roof of the vehicle.
- Miscellaneous: Sometimes, your car may be wrecked after a truck collision, and it helps if you have rental car coverage. Some policies will allow you to rent a car for 7-30 days, depending on the damage to your vehicle.
What Type Of Insurance Should You Have?
Considering the traffic on the roads, it is important to get an adequate amount of coverage that will protect you. You generally should have enough coverage to pay for the other person’s injuries. Liability insurance of $100,000 should be the bare minimum. If you only have liability insurance for $10K and the other person’s injuries cost more than $50K, then you will have to pay the rest out of your pocket.
If you are ever involved in a trucking accident, you should protect your rights immediately by doing the following:
- Call law enforcement immediately and ensure that a police report is filed.
- Take ample pictures of the accident area, including the road, both vehicles, and any injuries that you have sustained.
- Identify any potential witnesses and get their contact information.
- Seek medical help even if you do not feel that you have sustained any injuries. The reason is that some bone and nerve injuries can present late. If you did not see the doctor and the injuries present later, the party will claim that the cause was something else.
- Do not speak to anyone about your accident except your lawyer. The reason is that whatever you say can be used against you. Insurers are notorious for taping phone conversations and asking leading questions. The best advice is to refer the insurer to your lawyer.
What Is The Cost Of Truck Insurance In Florida?
In general, the average cost for commercial Florida truck insurance in the Sunshine State is about $15K. To get the best quotes, call several insurers and compare the policies.
Following a truck accident, it is best to consult with a personal injury lawyer. The reason is that your insurer may call you and be willing to settle the case, but, in almost all cases, the amount of money offered will be much less than what the personal injury lawyer can get for you. Once you have settled with the insurers, if you later have more medical problems, you have no recourse but to pay expenses out of pocket.