A few years ago, insurance companies convinced some of our Florida legislators to amend the “no fault” (or PIP) insurance regulations to limit an injured person’s medical bills to $2,500 unless a doctor determined that the person suffered from an emergency medical condition in an accident. Everyone who owns a car in Florida must pay for $10,000 in PIP coverage, but with the recent law change only some of us will actually receive the full benefit. The insurance companies promised the legislature that limiting their payment responsibility to $2,500 (even though we still had to pay for $10,000 in coverage) would lower insurance rates. Well, the proof is in the pudding.
After passage of the PIP amendments, our insurance rates went down an average of 0.2% from the prior year. This represents about $5 a year in savings. As many people expected, the very next year our insurance rates went up an average of 13.8%. What happened to all those insurance rate savings we were promised? Lining the pockets of the insurance companies no doubt.
State Senator Jeff Brandeis filed a bill earlier this year to do away with Florida’s outdated and unworkable “no fault” insurance system. Unfortunately, his bill died in committee without ever being submitted to a vote of the legislature. Hopefully, Senator Brandeis will continue to push to eliminate the PIP system and go with a more modern system of mandatory bodily injury liability insurance. After all, shouldn’t people who cause accidents be responsible for paying for the damages they cause? Until then, insurance companies will continue to raise our PIP rates.