What is NOT considered a vehicle in Florida for PIP Insurance Purposes?
Regardless of where in Florida you are located, it's important to understand how Personal Injury Protection (PIP) laws impact you. Failing to comply with PIP regulations can be a big mistake, but you should also be aware that not every kind of vehicle is required to have PIP to begin with.
There is actually quite a large list of vehicles that are not required to have PIP security on them. The first is motorcycles. This might be surprising to some, but the statutory definition of motor vehicle is one that has four or more wheels. The court case of Scherzer v. Beron upheld this classification that a motorcycle was not a motor vehicle for the purposes of carrying PIP in Florida. Three wheeled vehicles, however, have not been excluded from the definition of motor vehicle in every single case. Mobile homes are also excluded from the requirements related to PIP, although, there can be rare exceptions in these cases as well.
A Moped is another type of vehicle that is not required to maintain PIP coverage since they are frequently considered bicycles and not motor vehicles. In some cases, however, certain vehicles like scooters could be classified as “self-propelled” vehicles. In these situations, it often comes down to the horsepower of a vehicle in determining whether PIP coverage must be maintained.
Mass transit vehicles are another exception. If the vehicle is designed to transport more than five passengers outside of the operator and the motor vehicle is owned by a transit authority, political subdivision of the state, or a municipality, the vehicle meets the definition of being used for mass transit. However, there can be questions of fact related to how to meet these definitions.
Inoperable vehicles and vehicles not for use on the road in Florida are another category that meets the exception rule. In Florida, owners of motor vehicles that are intended for road use within the state are responsible for having insurance on those vehicles. In many instances the individual may be able to claim PIP coverage through the insurance of the vehicle the claimant was in, a household relative's insurance, or the at-fault driver's PIP.
These cases can come down to the finer details in terms of classifying whether a vehicle was required to have insurance or not. It's important to understand when PIP coverage is required and when a vehicle is exempted from having to carry insurance. Making this distinction can be critical for Florida personal injury cases.