Two new surveys show that Florida motorists are now facing the third highest insurance bills in the country. In 2019, lawmakers are wondering if they should repeal a no-fault insurance system, widely criticized for its high costs, fraud and inefficiency. According to a state study, a public economy could save drivers $ 81 per car, or nearly $ 1 billion a year.
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Will the legislators act? Repealing the bills passed by an overwhelming majority by the Florida House to end the personal injury protection, or PIP system, over the past two years have died in the Senate.
GateHouse Media asked the new Senate Speaker, Bill Galvano, where he was.
"According to the conversations that President Galvano had with senators on matters of interest to them, he believes that the Senate has every interest in addressing insurance issues such as the assignment of rights, Workers' compensation and PIP, "said spokeswoman Katie Betta. "Because it is still very early and it wishes that senators have the opportunity to develop legislation and control during the committee process, it does not plan to make specific comments beyond this period. "
The spokesman for the transition from Ron DeSantis, then elected governor, did not respond to a request for comment.
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The state's representative, Erin Grall, of R-Vero Beach, is expected to table a repeal bill similar to those passed in the House by a wide margin in the past two years, although her staff stated that she was not available to comment during the holidays. The committees have started to meet for the 60-day session beginning in early March.
At the same time, another survey released in November found that Florida ranked third among the most expensive states in auto insurance. The most expensive, Michigan, joins Florida among a handful of states with a no-fault auto insurance system, the study said on insure.com, a consumer insurance website. This means that drivers must take out health insurance on their car insurance to cover their own injuries, regardless of who is responsible for the accident, regardless of the amount of coverage that they have already subscribed to at A health insurance plan, Medicare or other sources.
Driver Dick Natalizio of Palm Beach Gardens, a retiree who already owned an insurance agency in Wisconsin, described the PIP as "ridiculous". He said he was trying to contact state leaders to urge them to take action for this session. He does not see why the Florida government should force Medicare drivers, for example, to buy $ 10,000 worth of PIP.
It's a cover he does not want or need, but increases his premium even if he never gets an accident because the insurers set the costs of the PIP according to his region, has he declared.
The PIP is not the only factor in the total insurance bill, but its rates have risen faster than the total premiums, registering a 25% increase between 2015 and last year, the Palm reported. Beach Post.
In the past two years, Florida House has passed a bill to eliminate the PIP system. That would allow drivers to save up to $ 81 per car, or about $ 1 billion collectively, according to a state-commissioned study conducted by Pinnacle Actuarial Resources Inc. in 2016. It's going to 39 is a net saving after the House bill requires drivers to take out liability insurance every state requires and most Florida drivers already have.
For the time being, however, Florida remains one of two states that do not require personal injury coverage, which means it does not ask drivers to stay away from home. take responsibility for the damage done to other people.
This represents industry surveys that show that 26% or more of Florida drivers are "uninsured". This does not necessarily mean that these drivers have no insurance. Florida allows drivers on the roads to have minimal coverage, including PIP. This means that they do not have insurance that makes them responsible for the injuries of others.
"For my life, I do not see the purpose of the PIP," said Paul Davidson of Boynton Beach last year. A driver cycled him on A1A and sent him flying at an altitude of 60 feet.
"My lip was torn up to the nose," he said. "Two of my teeth were missing. I was knocked out.
But the Florida system did not require the driver to buy insurance to pay for hospitalization and recovery, he said. He was forced to use his own insurance and pay tens of thousands of dollars, he said.
The repealing laws are blocked in the Senate under pressure from industry interests, including hospitals, health care providers and clinics, as well as insurance companies. and lawyers who live from PIP.
The trial attorneys supported the bill, but lobbyists from the big insurance companies ran up against the lawyers about the reform of lawsuits involving several types of insurance. Representatives of the auto insurer urged members of a Senate committee to vote against a law that effectively kills the PIP, repealing any hopes raised at the end of the last session.
Retaining the PIP, or requiring "medical payment" coverage in its place, means "at least one blanket will be available to patients in the emergency room," said Jeff Scott, General Counsel for the Florida Medical Association.
Requiring "medical expense" coverage basically repacks the PIP and still forces drivers who do not need it to pay for it. The Pinnacle study reveals that it saves driver savings.
Most states have rejected or abandoned systems without fail. An actuarial study showed that Colorado drivers were saving 35% on their car insurance bills after abandoning such a system.
With every year a flawless system, Florida drivers continue to pay the price.
Florida created PIP in the 1970s with the goal of reducing costs and avoiding prosecution. Instead, PIP has produced a record mountain of more than 60,000 lawsuits in 2017, a dramatic increase of nearly 50% in one year, according to a report by the Florida Justice Reform Institute. Most of them are not classified by ordinary drivers, but by medical providers who sue the insurers to get paid.
What can drivers do? Shop as best as they can for the blanket. Online comparison sites, such as those conducting premium surveys, can help you. And if drivers want heads of state to do something about PIP, now is the time to speak out.