Florida no fault auto insurance repeal effort launched once again
A new proposal is headed to the state Legislature in 2018 after having undergone lengthy discussion.
Senator Tom Lee (R-Thonotosassa) filed SB 150 in the hopes of repealing the no fault auto insurance system in Florida. The current law requires drivers in the state to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Senator Lee seeks to replace the PIP coverage with a requirement for bodily injury and medical payment coverages.
Lawmakers have tried several times to repeal the no fault auto insurance system over the last few years. They managed to pass a measure in 2012 that was designed to cut into the rampant fraud, while reducing PIP system rates. However, Lee released a statement saying that the problems with excessive insurance premiums and with widespread fraud continue to wreak havoc in the system.
“While well intentioned anecdotally, Florida’s Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law has resulted in widespread fraud, abuse and a complex litigation process,” said Lee. “Since its enactment (in the) ’70s, the value of the PIP benefit has eroded, while Florida’s auto insurance premiums continue to rise.”
This most recent effort to overhaul the no fault auto insurance law follows lengthy discussions among lawmakers.
Back in June, Jeff Atwater, the former president of the Florida Senate, addressed the PIP issue after having determined that he would step out as the chief financial officer – a Florida elected position – and would be taking on a new role as Florida Atlantic University vice president.
Atwater explained that he firmly believed it was time for PIP to come to an end, believing that the coverage’s “sunset” was nearly done. He predicted that “at some point in the future” it would be possible to remove the PIP requirement in favor of something that would make far more sense to premiums and fraud prevention requirements.
According to Atwater, every attempt was made to reform the no fault auto insurance system. However, it would be impossible to keep costs from rising any further “for the level of the value that it’s providing consumers,” he said. He pointed out that it has crossed the line and has become too expensive for the value drivers receive from it.