Should There Be Insurance Requirements For Bicycles In Florida?
Florida law does not require automobile drivers to have bodily injury liability coverage, which would cover injuries the driver caused to cyclists. Therefore, it is advisable for anyone cycling to have their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage or uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
A PIP or UM policy should cover a driver and their family members when they are injured while acting as a pedestrian or riding a bike, in addition to car accident-related injuries. This is not a separate bike accident policy, but instead an extension of your regular auto insurance. It is always wise to have the fullest coverage available for your auto insurance to make sure you and your family are covered in the event of pedestrian or bike accidents as well.
PIP or UM coverage should apply following bicycle crashes, but in case you run into any problems, you want a Florida bicycle accident lawyer handling your claim.
What Does PIP Coverage Do?
PIP coverage is nowhere near as extensive as fault-based liability coverage required in other states. However, it is a good starting place for injured cyclists. The following is true of PIP policies in Florida:
- The maximum policy is $10,000
- If your injury is not considered to be an emergency medical condition, you only receive $2,500 in coverage
- PIP covers 80 percent of medical bills and 60 percent of lost wages
- Death benefits cover $5,000 in losses
If you have a serious injury, as many cyclists do, you might have the right to file a claim against the driver who hit you. However, many drivers have no liability coverage that would apply in this situation.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) Insurance Coverage for Remaining Losses from Bicycle Crashes
Many drivers/cyclists have been with the same insurance company for years, but they do not understand that they need to have uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage can pay when the at-fault driver does not have insurance coverage, and PIP is not enough. Cyclists who suffer personal injuries during a motor vehicle accident can have uninsured motorist coverage to pay for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.
Bicyclists in Florida Should Not Use Their Bicycles Unless They Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Bicyclists in Florida should not ride near traffic unless they have uninsured motorist coverage. The risks of serious injury and exorbitant medical bills, and the possibility that driers do not have any bodily injury coverage, together mean that uninsured bicyclists may have to pay for their own medical treatment. Expensive surgeries and emergency room stays can add up quickly, and unpaid medical bills are one of the primary causes of bankruptcy in the United States.
You should speak with your automobile insurance company to find out how much uninsured motorist coverage will cost you. You will not regret paying for uninsured motorist coverage if you suffer serious bodily injury while cycling in Florida.
Contact a Tampa or Sarasota Bicycle Accident Attorney?
While insurance coverage is not required for cyclists in Florida, both PIP and UM policies are highly recommended. The bicycle accident lawyers at Matthews Injury Law can help you if you have been injured while using a bicycle in Tampa or Sarasota, Florida. Our attorneys can represent you and discover which parties may be liable for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss the facts of your case and advise you on how to pursue your legal claims.