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Will Florida Repeal No-Fault Insurance?

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Florida is one of a few states that has no-fault insurance. Adopted as a way to rein in the cost of insurance, the no-fault system instead seems to be swamped with fraudulent claims and too much litigation. This is ironic, since Florida adopted the no-fault system to help reduce the number of lawsuits.

Under our current system, motorists buy personal injury protection insurance, which goes by the name “PIP.” Florida currently requires motorists to have at least $10,000 in PIP benefits, which will pay 80% of reasonably necessary medical bills and 60% of lost wages in the event of disability. You file a claim with your PIP insurer regardless of who caused the accident.

Our no-fault rules also prohibit a lawsuit for pain and suffering unless the victim has suffered a serious injury of a permanent nature. Advocates of no-fault systems believed that these limitations would decrease the cost of insurance for everyone.

No-Fault Insurance Has Been Under Siege for Years

Now comes news that a Republican Senator has filed a bill proposal to abolish Florida’s no-fault insurance scheme. According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg filed SB 896 in the middle of February to repeal no-fault insurance.

This is only the latest move to address problems with Florida’s insurance scheme. Changes adopted in 2012 were designed to reduce fraud but apparently have not been effective. If approved, Florida will revert to a fault-based insurance system, where motorists are responsible for damages to other drivers. Drivers would carry bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance up to a certain amount.

Under a liability system, if you are responsible for the crash, you can’t receive any compensation. This type of system should certainly create an incentive to be as careful as possible.

In 2018, the Sun Sentinel reported that Floridian drivers paid the sixth-highest insurance premiums in the country. Clearly, PIP has failed to lower the cost of insurance, which is why attempts have been made over the past decade to repeal the system.

What to Do If PIP is Repealed

One of the advantages of PIP is that motorists do not have to worry if the driver who struck them has insurance. The rate of uninsured motorists is very high in Florida, so there is a real possibility that someone who strikes you doesn’t have any coverage to pay your medical expenses.

If Florida moves back to a fault system, then you can protect yourself by picking up the following:

  • Medical payment coverage. These are like PIP benefits that cover medical bills and are no-fault.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Called “UM” insurance, this will kick in if the driver who caused the accident lacks insurance or doesn’t have enough to fully compensate you.

With this insurance, you will be well protected in the event of a crash.

Injured in a Wreck? Contact Bundza & Rodriguez

The insurance system in Florida is complicated already, and possible changes on the horizon probably will not simplify things. If you have been injured in a car crash, please contact us at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. today. Our Daytona Beach car accident lawyers can talk to you during a free consultation if you call 386-252-5170. Avoid delay.

Resources:

bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2019/02/11/pip-insurance-repeal-emerges-in-florida-senate.html

sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-legislature-insurance-day-one-20180109-story.html

https://www.daytonalawyers.com/lawmakers-look-to-stamp-out-most-forms-of-distracted-driving/

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