Florida’s personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance model was designed to help lower insurance costs and discourage costly civil court claims for every little fender bender. And yet, research shows Florida drivers pay the third-highest auto insurance bills in the nation – roughly $1 billion annually.
Recently, bills were introduced by state lawmakers that would reform the no-fault auto insurance system in favor of a bodily injury coverage model. It’s not the first time lawmakers have tried. For three years running, similar bills have failed to gain enough traction.
It has been eight years since the most significant updates were made to F.S. 627.736, Florida’s PIP law, which requires one’s own auto insurer to extend up to $10,000 in coverage following a Florida car accident, regardless of fault. In 2012, lawmakers imposed restrictions on how much PIP coverage one could receive based on the severity of one’s injury. Insureds can now only glean $2,500 in PIP compensation for medical and disability benefits if the claimant didn’t suffer an emergency medical condition.
To pursue coverage outside of Florida’s no-fault system from the other driver, one must first meet the serious injury threshold, requiring evidence of permanent loss of a significant bodily function, permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring or death.
The Sunshine State is one of only a handful to adopt a no-fault approach to auto insurance. The two new bills that seek to alter the current model SB 378 and HB 771. These measures would shift the emphasis from personal injury protection coverage to a bodily injury model and require at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage. Continue reading