Florida Motorcycle Insurance

Florida has the second-largest population of motorcyclists in the country, partly because the sunny clime makes riding a year-round option. Motorcycling destinations abound, from Daytona’s annual Bike Week and Octoberfest to the new Ace Cafe Orlando, to the peaceful old sleeping villages of the Gulf.

Of course, if you want to enjoy Florida’s roads on two wheels, you need to be insured. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:

“Every self-propelled vehicle which is designed and required to be licensed for use upon a highway…except those designated as a bicycle or moped…[must be insured].”

Further confusing Florida’s motorcycle insurance laws is the fact that the Sunshine State is a ”no fault” state. Without the appropriate motorcycle insurance coverage, you could be exposing yourself to severe financial hardship after an accident. To help you understand Florida’s motorcycle insurance issues, let’s look at how the state defines a motorcycle for law enforcement and insurance purposes, some of the required equipment to make your bike street legal, as well as the coverage levels and types you may need.

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What Florida Considers a Motorcycle

Having to define a motorcycle may seem ridiculous to many, but every state must clearly define one for law enforcement and insurance purposes. According to Florida statutes a motorcycle is a motor vehicle with two or three wheels, with or without a sidecar, a saddle or seat on which the rider sits. The engine must displace more than 49cc. Vehicles with 49cc or smaller engines are considered mopeds or scooters. Mopeds/scooters need to be registered, but do not need motorcycle insurance.

Florida Street-Legal Motorcycle Equipment

Florida is a beautiful state to ride in. Sometimes riding is the only way to beat the heat and humidity. Your bike must have certain equipment in order to be considered street legal. These requirements are regulated by Florida Statutes 316.209 and 316.211, among others and include:

  • Eye protection: required at all times.
  • Handlebar height: no higher than the rider’s shoulder height when sitting astride the seat.
  • Helmet: required under age 21. Age 21 and older not required if rider has $10,000 in medical insurance in force.
  • Mirrors: only one irequired.
  • Turn Signals: required.
  • Passenger Seat: required if carrying a passenger. No restrictions on a passenger’s age.
  • Headlight: required use at all times, but a modulating daytime headlight can be used.
  • Muffler: required, and cannot be modified to increase sound beyond the original equipment level.
  • Safety Inspection: none required.

Minimum Motorcycle Coverage:  Florida

Florida’s mandatory insurance laws require a minimum motorcycle insurance policy with these limits:

  • $10,000 for death or bodily injury to one person
  • $20,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons
  • $10,000 for damage or destruction of property
  • $30,000 single limit liability

You can see that the minimal coverage required by the state of Florida is not sufficient to cover even a single visit to the E.R. If you just carry the minimum policy, you will be on the hook for every dollar not covered by your policy, potentially draining your life savings.

Coverage Recommendations

The basic coverage required by the state of Florida wouldn’t even cover your bike if you dropped it in front of your house, let alone if you were to be injured in an accident. That is why you should always carry additional coverage.

If your bike is financed, this will be mandatory.  Your lender will require better coverage as a condition of a loan.  But, even if you own your bike free and clear, there are some protections to consider:

Collision:  This protection covers your bike is involved in an accident. It may or may not include uninsured/under-insured coverage. If it doesn’t, be sure to add it.a

Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist:  23.8 percent of the drivers in Florida are uninsured, the second highest rate in the nation. With a near 25 percent chance that the other driver isn’t going to be covered, you can see why uninsured motorist coverage is a good idea.

Comprehensive: as opposed to collision, this covers issues not related to an accident, such as fire, wind, water, theft, and vandalism.

Covering Your Custom

Florida is a popular state with custom- and garage-builders, whether they be riding custom bobbers or cafe racers. Of course, insuring a custom-built bike–or even a bike with a lot of custom parts–presents a new challenge. Fortunately, insurers have addressed this issue with Custom Parts and Equipment (CPE) coverage., which is designed to cover any parts, equipment, devices, or enhancements that alter the look or performance of the bike.

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Simply enter your zip code, and you can begin comparing rates and policies from a variety of insurers that provide coverage for motorcyclists in your part of Florida.

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