Auto insurance provides peace of mind and ensures that drivers can pay for damages to their vehicles and other vehicles in the event of an auto accident. Coverage also provides payments for personal injuries, illnesses and deaths that can occur in automobile accidents. Drivers in Puerto Rico are required to follow these laws regarding insurance coverage, and can face penalties for non-compliance.
Like many U.S. states, Puerto Rico is a no-fault territory. Puerto Rico’s insurance laws require drivers to carry only no-fault auto insurance coverage. This is called compulsory liability insurance, or CLI coverage, in Puerto Rico. All drivers in Puerto Rico, including those who do not reside in the territory, must have a minimum of $3,000 in liability insurance coverage. This insurance provides automatic coverage for another individual’s vehicle regardless of which party is at fault. Vehicles registered in Puerto Rico are assessed fees that provide basic CLI coverage and drivers have the option of purchasing additional coverage from a private insurer licensed by the territory. Puerto Rico’s laws allow drivers to sue other drivers for damages only when the damages exceed the $3,000 CLI coverage maximum. Therefore, some drivers purchase additional liability coverage.
Bodily Injury Requirement
Puerto Rico does not require drivers to have full liability insurance coverage for injuries, dismemberment and death, but the territory requires medical liability insurance that is much like the personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance that is required in no-fault states, such as Florida. The Agency for the Compensation of Automobile Accidents provides mandatory coverage. Consumers have the option of purchasing supplemental coverage from a private insurance company. As with CLI coverage, the amount of coverage is $3,000. If an accident causes more bodily injury expense than that amount, the injured party or parties can sue the other driver.
Uninsured Motorist Protection
Puerto Rico does not require drivers to obtain uninsured motorist protection. Therefore, a driver who is involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance is at greater risk. To reduce this risk, drivers are required to buy no-fault coverage in order to maintain legal registration from year to year, and drivers who do not have coverage can be fined up to $500. Drivers have the option of purchasing their own uninsured motorist coverage from a private insurer.
- Luxury car crash image by Dmitriy Lesnyak from Fotolia.com