Short answer: If your golf cart is street-legal and has top speeds of 20~25 mph, it’s actually a low-speed vehicle (LSV). You’re required by law to get it tagged, titled, and insured like you would any automobile.
All EPIC EV golf carts from Ultimate Carts are street-legal.
Not street legal and tops out at 20 mph? Your golf cart isn’t required to have insurance. But it’s highly recommended that you get golf cart coverage. The owner is liable for any damages or injuries caused by the cart, even if someone else is driving it. ]
Golf Carts vs. Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs)
Before getting into the specifics of golf cart insurance, here’s how to understand the difference between golf carts and low-speed vehicles (LSVs). In Florida, these two types of vehicles are treated differently from an insurance standpoint.
Golf carts, as defined by section 320.01(22) of the Florida Statutes, are motor vehicles designed for operation on golf courses for sporting or recreational purposes. They are not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour. Golf carts can be operated on roadways designated for golf carts, with a posted speed limit of 30 mph or less. They can cross portions of county roads that intersect approved golf cart roadways, golf courses, or mobile home parks, provided that signs are posted indicating shared use.
Golf carts are not required to be titled, registered, or insured with personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) coverage.
However, local regulations and ordinances may impose additional restrictions on the operation of golf carts on public roads. Operators must be 15 years or older, and a driver’s license is not required.
Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs)
On the other hand, low-speed vehicles (LSVs) are defined by section 320.01(41) of the Florida Statutes as four-wheeled vehicles with a top speed greater than 20 miles per hour but not exceeding 25 miles per hour. LSVs must be registered, titled, and insured with PIP and PDL coverage. Operators of LSVs must hold a valid driver’s license.
LSVs can only be operated on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less and must be equipped with specific safety equipment, including headlights, turn signals, stop lamps, tail lamps, reflectors, mirrors, parking brakes, windshields, seat belts, and a vehicle identification number (VIN).
The Merits of Golf Cart Insurance
While golf cart insurance is not mandatory in Florida, it is highly recommended to protect yourself and your investment. Here are some key reasons why golf cart insurance is important:
- Financial protection — Accidents happen, and without insurance, you could be held personally liable for damages or injuries caused by your golf cart. Insurance provides financial protection and peace of mind in the event of an accident.
- Compliance with local regulations — While insurance may not be required by law, local regulations and ordinances may impose additional requirements, and having insurance ensures that you are in compliance with these rules.
- Coverage for theft and damage — Golf cart insurance can also provide coverage for theft, vandalism, fire, and other forms of damage. Without insurance, you would be responsible for covering these costs out of pocket.
- Medical coverage — In the unfortunate event of an accident, golf cart insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses, ensuring that you receive the necessary care without incurring significant financial burdens.
Insurance Options for Golf Carts
When it comes to insuring your golf cart in Florida, there are two primary options to consider, depending on whether your golf cart is registered as an LSV or not.
Golf Carts Not Registered as LSVs
If your golf cart is not registered as an LSV with the Florida DMV (Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles), you have the option of adding a simple endorsement to your existing home insurance policy or purchasing a stand-alone golf cart insurance policy. Both options typically cost between $70 and $150 per year, providing coverage for liability, theft, accidents, and other potential risks.
It is generally recommended to opt for a stand-alone golf cart insurance policy, as it allows you to make claims specifically related to your golf cart without affecting your home insurance policy. This helps keep your home insurance claims separate and potentially prevents any negative impact on your premiums.
Golf Carts Registered as LSVs
If you have registered your golf cart as an LSV with the FL DMV, it is no longer considered a golf cart from an insurance standpoint. Instead, it is treated as a regular automobile. In this case, you must have full auto insurance, including personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, to comply with Florida law. Failing to have the correct coverage not only leaves you unprotected but also risks the suspension of your driver’s license.
Converting a Golf Cart to an LSV
Golf carts can be converted into street-legal LSVs. To register your LSV with the FL DMV, there are a few steps you need to follow. Here’s a breakdown of the requirements:
- Vehicle conversion — To convert your golf cart into an LSV, it must meet certain safety equipment requirements, including headlights, turn signals, stop lamps, tail lamps, reflectors, mirrors, parking brakes, windshields, seat belts, and a VIN. Ensure that your golf cart meets these requirements before proceeding with the conversion process.
- Inspection — Once your golf cart has been converted to meet the LSV requirements, you need to have it inspected by a Florida Motorist Services Regional Office to ensure compliance. The office will verify that the necessary safety equipment is installed correctly.
- Titling and registration — After passing the inspection, you can apply for title and registration for your LSV. You will need to submit various documents, including the manufacturer’s certificate of origin, application for title (Form HSMV 82040), proof of Florida insurance (minimum $10,000 PDL and $10,000 PIP), identification (driver’s license, ID card, or passport), and the applicable fees.
- Insurance — Once your LSV is registered and titled, it is crucial to obtain the required insurance coverage. LSV insurance in Florida must include a minimum of $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 personal damage liability (PDL) coverage, in compliance with the state’s no-fault law.
Coverage Options for Golf Cart Insurance
Golf cart insurance in Florida has various coverage options:
- Liability — Liability coverage protects you in case you are responsible for causing bodily injury or property damage to someone else. It covers legal fees, medical expenses, and repair costs.
- Collision — Collision coverage provides compensation for damages to your golf cart resulting from collisions with other vehicles or objects.
- Comprehensive coverage — Comprehensive coverage protects against non-collision incidents such as theft, vandalism, fire, or weather-related damages.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) — UM coverage protects you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage.
- Medical payments — Medical payments coverage helps cover medical expenses incurred by you or your passengers as a result of an accident, regardless of fault.
It’s essential to review your policy carefully and understand the coverage limits, deductibles, and exclusions. Consider your specific needs and priorities when selecting the appropriate coverage options for your golf cart or LSV.
Finding the Right Golf Cart Insurance Policy
Here are some tips to help you make the best decision:
- Research and compare. Take the time to research different insurance providers and compare their coverage options, rates, and customer reviews. This will help you find a reputable company that offers the coverage you need at a competitive price.
- Consult an insurance agent. Reach out to an experienced insurance agent who specializes in golf cart insurance. They can provide expert guidance and help you navigate through the available options to find the best policy for your specific needs.
- Read the fine print. Carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance policy before making a final decision. Pay attention to coverage limits, deductibles, exclusions, and any additional fees or requirements.
- Bundle policies. Consider bundling your golf cart insurance policy with your existing home or auto insurance policies. Many insurance companies offer discounts for bundling multiple policies, which can help you save money.
- Ask for discounts. Inquire about any available discounts that you may qualify for, such as safe driver discounts or discounts for installing anti-theft devices on your golf cart.
Taking the time to research, compare, and review your options will ensure that you find the right golf cart insurance policy that provides adequate coverage and meets your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I need insurance for my golf cart in Florida?
Insurance for golf carts is not mandatory in Florida but is highly recommended. Street-legal golf carts that have top speeds of 20 to 25 miles per hour require insurance and must be registered with the Florida DMV just like an automobile.
Can I add my golf cart to my homeowners insurance policy?
Yes, you can add your golf cart to your existing homeowners insurance policy, but there may be limitations and restrictions on coverage. You may want to consider a separate policy so you can make golf cart claims without affecting your homeowner’s policy.
Can I drive my golf cart on the road in Florida?
Golf carts not classified as a low-speed vehicle (LSV) can be driven on designated roadways with a posted speed limit of 30 mph or less. However, local regulations and ordinances may impose additional restrictions.
What is the difference between a golf cart and an LSV?
An LSV is a low-speed vehicle that has a top speed greater than 20 mph but not exceeding 25 mph. Golf carts, on the other hand, are not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 mph.
Can I convert my golf cart into an LSV?
Yes, you can convert your golf cart into an LSV by meeting specific safety equipment requirements and following the registration and titling process outlined by the Florida DMV (Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles).
Does my LSV require insurance in Florida?
Yes, if your golf cart has been converted into an LSV and is registered with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, it is required to have insurance coverage, including PIP and PDL.
What should I do if I have a golf cart accident?
If you have a golf cart accident, it is important to report the incident to your insurance provider and gather all relevant information, such as photographs, witness statements, and police reports. This will help facilitate the claims process and ensure that you receive the necessary coverage.
Insurance requirements for golf carts and low-speed vehicles (LSVs) can be confusing. Don’t wait until after an accident or collision to ask questions about golf cart insurance.
Owning a golf cart in Florida is a fun way to get around, but it’s crucial to understand the insurance requirements and options. While golf cart insurance is not mandatory, LSV insurance is. Know the difference to protect yourself and your investment.