Automobile insurance policies in Puerto Rico are similar, but not identical, to the types of policies sold on the mainland. In both places, auto insurance provides peace of mind and solid protection. Car accidents happen every day – car insurance means that you don’t have to go bankrupt paying for their consequences. If, heaven forbid, someone is injured or killed in a car crash, insurance helps cover the costs for healing the victims and supporting the bereaved. Insurance agents deal with tragic accidents all too often, and it’s hard to imagine anyone facing the consequences without sufficient insurance. In Puerto Rico, a minimal amount of car insurance is mandatory, and there are penalties for driving without insurance.
Puerto Rico is No-Fault
Like many states, Puerto Rico has no-fault insurance laws. Drivers there are required to carry no-fault insurance, called Compulsory Liability Insurance, or CLI coverage. CLI requires all drivers, even if not residing in Puerto Rico, to carry a minimum of $3,000 liability coverage. This insurance protects all participants in a crash or accident, regardless of fault. The cost for vehicles registered in Puerto Rico is $99 for private vehicles and $148 for commercial ones. Drivers can, and most often do, buy higher levels of liability coverage beyond this basic policy from a licensed private insurer. Drivers can only sue each other for damages that exceed the $3,000 CLI level.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
In Florida, which is also a no-fault location, PIP is required to cover medical liability. Puerto Rico is essentially the same – it requires medical liability insurance in the amount of $3,000. Drivers do not have to carry full liability insurance for items like:
The Agency for the Compensation of Automobile Accidents provides the mandatory coverage. Most drivers choose to purchase additional private insurance to supplement basic medical liability coverage. Since the mandatory coverage is often inadequate, it is not unusual for lawsuits to be pursued for medical costs exceeding $3,000.
Uninsured Motorist Protection
Uninsured motorist protection is not mandatory in Puerto Rico. This poses a great risk to motorists who are involved in accidents with uninsured drivers. That’s why no-fault insurance is required – you cannot maintain your car’s yearly legal registration without proof of no-fault coverage. The fine for not having insurance can reach $500. The smart move favored by most drivers in Puerto Rico is to purchase uninsured motorist protection from a private insurance company.