Written by attorney David Phillip Folkenflik

Florida is a "No-Fault State"; Do I Have to Pay to Fix My Own Car?

Most people in Florida know it is a "No-Fault" state (also called a "PIP" state) when it comes to motor vehicle insurance. In my nearly 20 years as a personal injury lawyer in Florida, I have often heard the following type statement from somebody who has just been in a car accident: "Even though the crash wasn't my fault, do I have to fix my own car since it's a "No-Fault" state?" Or, if they caused the wreck they ask; "Why do I have to fix the other guy's car since it's a "No-Fault" state?"

My response to either question is that "No-Fault" insurance in Florida does not in any way apply to the damages done to your vehicle (these damages to your vehicle are what lawyers refer to as "property damage"). In fact, when it comes to property damage, Florida is actually a good old fashioned "Fault" state. In other words, whoever caused the accident is responsible for all of the other party's property damages.

Every person in Florida who owns a motor vehicle (note that motorcycles are not required to have any insurance coverage in Florida as they are not considered "motor vehicles" by the law) is required by law to have a minimum of $10,000.00, in property damage liability insurance coverage (also known as "PD"). This "PD" will pay for damages that are negligently caused to another vehicle. You can purchase higher limits of "PD" (a minimum of $50,000.00, or more is highly recommended as the cost of repairing vehicles continues to escalate). Purchasing a higher amount of "PD" also makes sense since you will be held personally liable to pay for all property damages that you cause which exceed your "PD" limits.

So, while "No-Fault" insurance does cover a portion of your medical expenses and lost wages, no matter who caused the accident, it does not cover any of your property damages, whether you caused the crash or not.

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