Florida continues to lead the U.S. in auto insurance fraud, a fact that state lawmakers have been working to change. Staged auto accidents are presenting the state, and its insurance industry, with significant problems. Those abusing the state’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) system, which provides drivers with no-fault auto insurance policies, cause insurers to raise rates on coverage in an effort to recovery from losses. Thus far, Florida legislators have been divided on how to solve the problem. That is until they were shown how easy it was for drivers to stage accidents.
Last week, lawmakers gathered at the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy where the Florida Highway Patrol exhibited cases of staged accidents. Legislators saw firsthand how these supposed accidents were set up and how unscrupulous drivers carried them out. Governor Rick Scott, who attended the exhibition, noted how “sickening it is to fake an auto accident so easily.”
Legislators have vowed that they will resolve the issue with new fervor. Unfortunately, it is not a simple problem to solve. Lawmakers are determined to find a way to install a system that will protect consumers but not be so accommodating of fraud. The insurance industry will be working with legislators in their effort to find a solution and hope that, in the future, a new plan will help lessen the financial burden consumers are now facing due to the high level of fraud in the state.
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