2009 Florida Statutes
Financial responsibility for property damage.
324.022 Financial responsibility for property damage.--
(1) Every owner or operator of a motor vehicle required to be registered in this state shall establish and maintain the ability to respond in damages for liability on account of accidents arising out of the use of the motor vehicle in the amount of $10,000 because of damage to, or destruction of, property of others in any one crash. The requirements of this section may be met by one of the methods established in s. 324.031; by self-insuring as authorized by s. 768.28(16); or by maintaining an insurance policy providing coverage for property damage liability in the amount of at least $10,000 because of damage to, or destruction of, property of others in any one accident arising out of the use of the motor vehicle. The requirements of this section may also be met by having a policy which provides coverage in the amount of at least $30,000 for combined property damage liability and bodily injury liability for any one crash arising out of the use of the motor vehicle. The policy, with respect to coverage for property damage liability, must meet the applicable requirements of s. 324.151, subject to the usual policy exclusions that have been approved in policy forms by the Office of Insurance Regulation. No insurer shall have any duty to defend uncovered claims irrespective of their joinder with covered claims.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Motor vehicle" means any self-propelled vehicle that has four or more wheels and that is of a type 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. The term does not include:
1. A mobile home.
2. A motor vehicle that is used in mass transit and designed to transport more than five passengers, exclusive of the operator of the motor vehicle, and that is owned by a municipality, transit authority, or political subdivision of the state.
3. A school bus as defined in s. 1006.25
(b) "Owner" means the person who holds legal title to a motor vehicle or the debtor or lessee who has the right to possession of a motor vehicle that is the subject of a security agreement or lease with an option to purchase.
(3) Each nonresident owner or registrant of a motor vehicle that, whether operated or not, has been physically present within this state for more than 90 days during the preceding 365 days shall maintain security as required by subsection (1) that is in effect continuously throughout the period the motor vehicle remains within this state.
(4) The owner or registrant of a motor vehicle is exempt from the requirements of this section if she or he is a member of the United States Armed Forces and is called to or on active duty outside the United States in an emergency situation. The exemption provided by this subsection applies only as long as the member of the Armed Forces is on such active duty outside the United States and applies only while the vehicle is not operated by any person. Upon receipt of a written request by the insured to whom the exemption provided in this subsection applies, the insurer shall cancel the coverages and return any unearned premium or suspend the security required by this section. Notwithstanding s. 324.0221(3), the department may not suspend the registration or operator's license of any owner or registrant of a motor vehicle during the time she or he qualifies for an exemption under this subsection. Any owner or registrant of a motor vehicle who qualifies for an exemption under this subsection shall immediately notify the department prior to and at the end of the expiration of the exemption.
History.--s. 8, ch. 88-370; s. 1, ch. 89-238; s. 302, ch. 99-248; s. 4, ch. 2007-324.