You will need to contact the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV) to find out how long it takes for them to take action when they are informed that you have had a lapse in auto insurance coverage. We can tell you that even a one day lapse in car insurance coverage could result in you being penalized by the state.
The FL HSMV site indicates that any lapse in insurance reported to the HSMV can result in a suspension of your license. If you are changing insurance companies the previous policy should not be canceled until the new policy is in force.
The Florida laws require the owner or registrant of a motor vehicle to maintain Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability insurance continuously throughout a vehicle registration period. The law allows no exemptions for any reason. FL law also requires all insurance companies to report the initiation and termination of all policies providing this coverage to the HSMV so they can take action on any lapse of the state required auto insurance coverages.
If you fail to keep insurance on your vehicle the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is authorized to suspend your driving privilege, including your vehicle tag and registration, for up to three years or until proof of Florida insurance is provided, whichever is first.
If your license is suspended due to not properly being insured a reinstatement fee of $150 up to $500 will be due to the FL HSMV, for subsequent violations, must be paid and you must provide proof of current Florida insurance.
Remember Florida's no-fault insurance law requires vehicle owners to carry at least $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 Property Damage Liability (PDL). All licensed insurance companies electronically report to DHSMV when policies providing PIP coverage are cancelled or taken out.
If your insurance company notifies the HSMV that you canceled a policy, and no other active policy is reported by another insurance company, they will send a letter notifying you they need your auto insurance information.
If the HSMV learns that you did have a lapse you are notified they want you to show them you have PIP/PDL insurance for every vehicle you have registered in Florida. A suspension by the HSMV will affect the driver license, tag and registration of the suspended person per the HSMV representative that told us that just a 1 day lapse could result in these penalties. To find out how long it may take for penalties to be handed down for the lapse of insurance contact the HSMV directly.
When changing over from one insurance company to another for your auto insurance coverages make sure there is not a lapse since Florida and most other states will penalize you for being uninsured, even if it is for one day. You are also at risk for that one day if you would be in an accident since without insurance you would be personally responsible for any damages you caused.
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