Sen. Danny Burgess filed legislation Friday that would repeal Florida’s motor vehicle no-fault law.
Florida’s No-Fault Law requires drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP). Burgess’ proposal, SB 54, would instead require motorists to carry bodily injury liability coverage.
The Banking and Insurance Committee will discuss the bill at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 26 in Room 412 of the Knott Building.
“Replacing our no-fault system with a bodily injury liability system more appropriately places liability where it should be — with the party that caused the accident,” Burgess said in a news release. “Additionally, the bill creates a new framework for handling bad faith litigation that provides a clear set of standards to govern the conduct of both parties in the claims handling process, which we believe will lead to better outcomes for both insured Floridians and their insurance companies.”
Under SB 54, insured motorists would bear $25,000 in financial responsibility for bodily injury or death in a crash. Or up to $50,000 for bodily injury or death in a crash with two or more people.
SB 54 retains the existing $10,000 financial responsibly requirement for property damage. It also repeals the No-Fault Law’s recovery limitation on pain and suffering damages.
Senate President Wilton Simpson is already signaling support for the measure.
“Florida is one of only two states in the country that does not currently require drivers to carry liability coverage that would immediately kick in if they cause the bodily injury or death of another person while operating a motor vehicle,” the Trilby Republican said. “PIP coverage is outdated and doesn’t protect consumers. It’s the right time for Florida to move to mandatory coverage for bodily injury liability.”
SB 54 would require insurers to offer medical payments coverage with $5,000 or $10,000 limits to cover the insured’s medical expenses.
Other provisions include named driver exclusions and a new framework to govern motor vehicle insurance bad faith claims. Disputes about the bad-faith issue have stalled past legislative efforts to end the no-fault system.
A 2016 report by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation projected that drivers would see a 5.6% savings by shifting to a bodily-injury coverage requirement. A study two years later by the actuarial consulting firm Milliman showed an average increase in premiums of $67, or a 5.3% increase.
SB 54 is slated to appear before the Banking and Insurance, Judiciary and Rules committees.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this post.