House votes to repeal Florida’s PIP mandate for auto insurance

personal injury protection insurance auto (Large)

The House voted Wednesday to replace Florida personal-injury protection insurance mandate for motorists with a requirement that they buy bodily injury protection, upending an insurance system in place since 1971.

“Today, we have the ability to start thinking about personal responsibility in a different way, and shifting that paradigm in the state of Florida in how we do auto insurance,” sponsor Erin Grall said.

“It’s difficult to think about doing something different after 40-plus years, but it shouldn’t keep us from doing what’s best for Floridians,” she said.

HB 1063, approved on an 89-29 vote, would require motorists to carry minimum bodily injury coverage worth $25,000 for injuries to another person, and $50,000 for injuries for two or  more people.

The Senate version, SB 1766 would create a medical payment, or MedPay, coverage mandate of $5,000. That system, according to a staff analysis, would provide “substantially similar coverage to current PIP medical benefit.

Grall suggested leaving that up to drivers.

”Individuals will have the ability to decide whether or not they need to purchase medical payments coverage in order to be covered in the event of an accident. That product exists in the marketplace,” she said.

“And with rates going down — especially for PIP drivers — they will have more opportunity to buy more coverage, if that’s what they decide is right for them.”

There would be a transition period for policies already in effect.

The change is intended to save money — a study conducted for the Office of Insurance Regulation suggested in September that repeal could save $81 per car, although motorists could wind up paying more for other types of coverage, including health insurance.

Rep. Julio Gonzalez, a Republican orthopedic surgeon from Venice, objected to to the lack of MedPay. “The PIP system is broken and needs to be fixed,” he conceded. But he argued that doctors would end up treating 13 percent of their patients essentially for free.

Michael Moline

Michael Moline is a former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal and managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal. Previously, he reported on politics and the courts in Tallahassee for United Press International. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as editor of the Florida Flambeau. His family’s roots in Jackson County date back many generations.


  • Mitch

    April 20, 2017 at 9:23 am

    I wonder if this system does not save consumers money will they reevaluate the law like they did the current one? Doubtful because they do what their big insurance masters tell them to do. This system will not help consumers at all!

  • jeff

    April 20, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    “The change is intended to save money — a study conducted for the Office of Insurance Regulation suggested in September that repeal could save $81 per car, although motorists could wind up paying more for other types of coverage, including health insurance.”

    This is a joke, the only parties benefiting from this are the insurance companies. The med-pay will end up costing more for the consumer in PIP, and we are still going to have the problem with uninsured motorists.

  • Allen

    April 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Insurance in Florida is highway robbery I’m being charged $290 a a month because I had an accident and I was not at fault on a Nissan juke

  • Dr Ben Choiniere

    April 26, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    “Deja Vue”, from a physician with 20 years experience in a “at fault” State. Insurance premium to consumers being lowered by removing PIP is an utopia, it is unlikely at best.

    Attorneys always try their best to protect a “doctors’ bill”, with a “LOP”, so patients do not have to suffer the financial burden right away. BUT, the ability to recover enough funds to pay for those medical bills fall short 90% of the time. Physicians have been reducing their fees for ages, at the request of attorneys, to help mitigate the cost to consumers.

    Attorneys and Congress have discriminately steered the conflict between the so called “abusive insurance companies” and “fraudulent health care providers” as the reason for a failing system. Off course, those unscrupulous entities do exist, but they are a minority.

    But let me state the obvious, in which pockets does 33% to 40% of all settlements go?
    That is a HUGE portion in which consumers are paying indirectly. Is this money paying for utility bills or medical bills? Or just serving a few elites?

    Is this something Congress should take up for discussion? Why would someone suggest something as incredible as Capping legal fees in injury cases? How would Florida attorneys be able to afford their advertising “Billboards” otherwise, right!

    Is Congress ignoring the elephant in the room? Or just turning their eyes the other way!

    If a fair solution is needed to resolve the problem, all parties involved should have some skin in the game. Or more so, loose some skin in the game!

    Capping legal fees is not so far fetch! Capping medical payments and insurance premiums are definitely in vogue! Why not Capping those attorneys too?

    I am in the conviction that making Millions upon one’s death, which occurred during an auto accident, is absolutely appalling ! And I am not referring the to victim’s family!
    Is is true that attorneys incur enormous expenses when litigating a case. But not in the Millions…

    A simple scalable percentage reduction based on a fixed dollar amount would save consumers Millions…. Just a thought….

    • J. Canton

      April 30, 2017 at 8:55 am

      So you’re going to blame the lawyers? The fact is doctor’s get more than their fair share. They get paid 80% of their bill paid by pip. The LOP covers the remaining balance. The 33-40% paid to the PI attorney covers their fee PLUS all of the costs of pursuing the case–the bulk of which are exorbitant fees charged by doctors for medical records!

Comments are closed.


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