Most motor vehicles in Florida are required to maintain some sort of PIP coverage. The fact is it is one of the only required coverage’s for automobile insurance under Florida Law. The other type of coverage is your property damage coverage.
Florida Statute 627.733(1) states that:
“every owner or registrant of a motor vehicle, other than a motor vehicle
used as a taxicab, school bus as defined in section 1006.25, or limousine,
required to be registered and licensed in the state shall maintain security
as required under subsection (3) in effect continuously throughout the
registration or licensing period.”
Generally, this Statute makes clear that certain motor vehicles which are registered in Florida, such as limousines, taxi cabs and school buses (which have been defined as vehicles for hire) are not required to maintain PIP coverage. Any of these vehicles are generally insured or bonded under a different system which is not part of the discussion of this blog. However, as usual the Florida Legislature has made the determination of whether a vehicle would be classified as a taxi cab, limousine or school bus may turn on facts at issue in comparison a certain set of facts to the case law.
An important point in determining whether a vehicle is required to have PIP coverage is whether the vehicle is in fact a “motor vehicle” as defined by Florida Statute 627.732(3) which states:
“motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle with four or more wheels
which is of the type both designed and required to be licensed for use on
the highways of this state and any trailer or semitrailer designed for use
with such vehicle and includes:
(a) A “private passenger motor vehicle,” which is any motor vehicle which
is a sedan, station wagon, or jeep-type vehicle and, if not used primarily
for occupational, professional, or business purposes, a motor vehicle of
the pickup, panel, van, camper, or motor home type;
(b) A “commercial motor vehicle,” which is any motor vehicle which is not
a private passenger motor vehicle.
Please note that the term “motor vehicle” does not include a mobile home or any motor vehicle which is used in mass transit, other than public school transportation, and designed to transport more than five passengers exclusive of the operator of the motor vehicle and which is owned by a municipality, a transit authority, or a political subdivision of the state.
If this sounds confusing to you it can be just as confusing to everyone else. It generally takes, even seasoned attorneys, several readings of the Statute and looking at the case law that has been decided interrupting the Statutes in order to figure out whether a certain vehicle is required to have PIP coverage in the State of Florida. This is very important in personal injury cases as many people still don’t have insurance or cannot afford deductibles or co-pays that go along with private health insurance. Thus, if they can have their medical bills paid through PIP it is a considerable savings to them.