The bill signing occurred in Jacksonville at a ceremony on Friday.
Though the city of choice for the signing of the Florida insurance fraud legislation by Governor Rick Scott is not exactly a hotspot for staged accidents, it still drew attention from the entire state, including Sheriff John Rutherford, who is backing the new law.
The signing took place in the parking lot located next to the Northeast Florida Criminal Justice Training and Education Center on the North Campus of Florida State College, where Scott added his autograph while surrounded by police officers in uniform.
Sheriff Rutherford lobbied on behalf of the Florida Sheriffs Association for this legislation.
Rutherford was highly active in this purpose, having even created a television ad that made a call to the state’s lawmakers to crack down on the Florida insurance fraud that was spiraling out of control in the state with fake collision claims.
Before Scott signed the bill, he said “When law enforcement gets involved, things get done.”
Following the ceremony, Governor Scott joined Senator John Thrasher for a boat tour on the St. Johns River, in recognition of the $5.6 million that the senator had obtained in funds for the restoration of the river. In 2011, Scott had vetoed a river restoration budget request of $10 million, but this year, the funding remained in the budget for this purpose.
Scott proudly stated that this new Florida insurance bill is an important step toward keeping the cost of living in the state down to a minimum. According to a state report, from 2005 to 2010, there has been a decrease in the number of auto accidents by 12 percent in the state. However, at the same time there has been a 66 percent spike in the cost of personal injury protection claims. The governor has explained that the rising number of fraudulent claims is causing the insurance premiums paid by consumers to skyrocket.
Therefore, Scott feels that this new bill “should reduce the cost of auto insurance,” as “We have way too much fraud.” That said, the actual impact on the premiums for Florida insurance has yet to be seen.