The mandatory PIP (Personal injury Protection) insurance of $10,000 was passed so that people involved in an accident would get immediate medical relief, and eliminate or reduce costly lawsuits. The unintended consequence of this is an increase in insurance fraud, higher premiums for low Florida car insurance coverage.
If a motorist hits a pedestrian or a cyclist, the medical bills will be a millstone around their neck since they do not carry auto insurance and the no fault laws do not help to recover costs easily.
The number of uninsured/under Insured motorists is also high in Florida. Having PIP will give minimum protection if injuries occur due to the fault of someone driving without insurance, or not having enough insurance coverage to pay all expenses.
While it is clear that PIP acts as first payer, and payments are made within 30 days, covering loss of pay etc., car premiums have increased the last 2 years by 25%, and liability coverage by 23.4%. The trend attributed to increase in cost of medical care, vehicle body work, more people driving, and distractions like texting are also adding to the problem.
The reform law signed in 2012 was successful in containing and even reducing the car insurance coverage rates only until 2014 as per the office of insurance regulation.
The new proposal was to end PIP in favor of drivers getting a minimum of $25,000 coverage for bodily injury caused to others or death, and $50,000 to cover bodily injury or death of two or more people. But this would also mean that litigations to recoup costs would go up by victims of accidents. Such a move would also make those who cannot afford insurance ever more vulnerable since the cost of premiums would also be higher.
90% of the drivers carry PIP and bodily injury coverage hence a repeal of PIP would bring down premiums by $ 80.00, as per the sponsor of the bill, Erin Grall. But this could also increase health care premiums.
The state’s bad faith law also has to be dealt with to bring down costly lawsuits and delays in medical payments.
Arguments continue on both sides but the legislative session ended on May 8th and for now the status quo continues until 2018. The present PIP mandatory coverage of 10,000.00 continues with no fault laws.
Irrespective of outcomes, count on us to keep you an informed and aware consumer so you can get the benefit of optimum coverage with the cheapest Florida insurance coverage.