The Digital Journal had an article today that updated us all on push by the Governor and his allies in the legislature to amend or end Florida’s No-Fault-PIP system. Every few years, the Florida Legislature debates whether to end no-fault car insurance (PIP) or to amend or replace it.
Governor Rick Scott and a group of like-minded Florida lawmakers is ready once again to overhaul the state’s car insurance laws. This time the result may be more than just a modification. The legislative end result may be an elimination of no-fault coverage for injured car accident victims.
Under the existing law, all Florida drivers are compelled to carry at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection coverage, or PIP. The proposed changes to the law would make that coverage optional rather than mandatory.
No-fault, PIP was established in 1972 in Florida. The intent of was to simplify the claims process and to reduce the number of car accident lawsuits. The legislature hoped that in allowing injured accident victims to receive up to $10,000 from their own insurance providers, regardless of fault for the car accident, the need for litigation to receive reimbursement for medical and other expenses would be reduced.
The Governor and other supporters of taking a wrecking ball to the current system maintain that the current system encourages fraud and the staging of car accidents.
Cost of PIP coverage has also been raised as a factor in the debate. Right now Florida’s drivers pay approximately $100 to $130 a year for the PIP, no-fault portion of their car insurance policies.
While these talked about modifications would reduce premiums for Florida’s drivers who elect not to carry PIP coverage, it would also raise premiums for others for newly imposed requirements such as mandatory bodily injury coverage. This may result in more of Florida’s drivers deciding to go completely uninsured.
If the Florida legislature eliminates the no-fault, PIP system, they will likely replace it with a tort system that requires injured car accident victims to prove negligence before they could receive compensation for their injuries and damages.