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Florida’s PIP requirement under attack in Tallahassee

Mon Apr 3rd, 2017 on     Insurance Law,    

As we’ve documented on this blog, the state’s infamous personal injury protection or no-fault requirement, which mandates that all Florida drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 worth of medical coverage to cover injuries regardless of liability, has long been the subject of scorn, with detractors calling it an unnecessary system that facilitates fraud and results in higher auto insurance premiums.

As we’ve also discussed on our blog, the PIP requirement has nevertheless managed to hold on for nearly 40 years now despite a cavalcade of bills being introduced over the years calling for its elimination. Recent reports suggest, however, that the end of PIP is perhaps now closer to becoming a reality than ever before.

Lawmakers in each chamber — Sen. Tom Lee (R-Thonotosassa) and Rep. Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach) — have each sponsored measures calling for PIP to be eliminated and, in its place, a system introduced whereby drivers would be required to carry coverage that would pay $25,000 of injuries to another person and $50,000 of injuries to two or more people.

Where Senate Bill 1768 and House Bill 1063 differ is that the former calls for insurance policies to have $5,000 mandatory coverage to ensure that hospitals and physicians, which have heretofore lobbied against the elimination of PIP, receive payment after an accident, such that their higher operating costs aren’t ultimately offset by higher health insurance premiums.

It’s worth nothing that figures show that 90-95 percent of drivers here in Florida already have the type of mandatory coverage proposed by both SB 1768 and HB 1063, such that they would actually stand to save roughly $80-$81 per year with the elimination of PIP.

As for the 5-10 percent of drivers who carry only the minimum whether out of necessity or by choice, supporters of PIP elimination have argued that while that their rates would increase considerably — anywhere from $250-$323 per year — such action is necessary to fix a broken system and ensure that adequate coverage is available to all drivers.

While the chances of either bill passing appear good, neither will make it without encountering some opposition. Indeed, in addition to the aforementioned opposition from the health care industry, other lawmakers have expressed concerns about these potentially steep rate increases simply putting more uninsured motorists on the road in a state that already has an exceptionally high number.

Stay tuned for updates …

Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your options if you believe your insurance company has unnecessarily delayed or underpaid a car accident claim.

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