Jeff Brandes says pushing new PIP bill without new actuarial analysis is ‘legislative malpractice’
In another dust-up with his Party, Jeff Brandes gets shuffeled around. Image via Colin Hackley.

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The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee moved PIP repeal with no public testimony.

Sen. Jeff Brandes said Wednesday it is legislative malpractice for the Senate to consider repealing Florida’s no-fault insurance program and replace it with a fault-based system without knowing how it would impact automobile insurance rates for Florida drivers.

Brandes made the remarks shortly before the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee voted 10-1 to pass SB 150, filed by Sen. Danny Burgess.

Committee Chairman Sen. Jim Boyd, who allowed for testimony earlier in the meeting on two of his proposed bills, said the committee did not have time to consider public debate before the vote.

The bill is almost identical to one Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed last year after the release of a Pinnacle analysis showed the proposal could increase rates by an average of $202. But Burgess told Senate Banking and Insurance Committee members the Pinnacle actuaries erred when they estimated the cost impact of the 2021 legislation. Burgess said when developing their assumptions, Pinnacle actuaries assumed every driver would choose to carry a $10,000 MedPay policy to ensure they had coverage for health care needs stemming from automobile accidents.

While the bill mandated that carriers offer the $10,000 MedPay policy, it allowed drivers to opt out of the coverage.

Moreover, Burgess said the bill did not take into consideration savings associated with the bad faith reforms in the bill.

Senate President Wilton Simpson wants to repeal the state’s no-fault automobile insurance system that requires drivers to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

In lieu of PIP, the state would return to a fault-based system and people would be required to cover mandatory bodily injury.

House Speaker Chris Sprowls also supports the repeal.

But insurance carriers don’t support the measure. Fearful that the bill will raise rates or increase the number of drivers on the road without insurance, Progressive and the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida oppose it. So does State Farm.

Brandes pressed Burgess whether proponents of repealing PIP conducted a different analysis, but Burgess said they had not. Brandes was not pleased with the answer.

“Sen. Burgess, I kind of feel bad for you. You’ve been asked to charge a hill that has machine gun fire on it. You’ve been shot down and you’re being asked to take the same hill with no more troops, no more resources and, frankly, rubber bullets. This is essentially, in my opinion, legislative malpractice. If we are going to talk about the lives of millions of Floridians and we have not, over the summer, gotten an actuarial study … I don’t know how any member can vote on this.”

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


10 comments

  • tom palmer

    February 2, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    It seems the fix is in.

  • Citizen

    February 2, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    PIP repeal and mandatory BI mandates are being forced down our throats by the “woke” libs in the FJA, blue-state refugees, and millionaire left wing trial lawyers. We don’t need California style auto insurance in Florida.

    Do not be fooled, folks. There is no data to support proponents’ arguments that the bill as proposed will reduce insurance rates. Experts and commissioned studies instead point to massive rate increases for millions of working-class and low income minority drivers who buy PIP only policies. The rich, who purchase high limit BI policies for their luxury German sedans, are estimated to save big bucks from this proposed bill.

    In turn, massive auto insurance premium increases will lead to more working-class Floridians not buying auto insurance at all. They’ll risk it, instead of paying for much more expensive MBI auto insurance, they’ll be forced to buy food for their families or pay rent to keep a roof over their children’s head.

    This is quintessential reverse Robinhood. Stealing from the working poor and giving it to the wealthy elite lawyers. Driving with insurance shouldn’t be a luxury in Florida.

    • David Kalinsky

      February 3, 2022 at 10:07 am

      Ah yes, pushed by the “woke libs” of the FL, you know the liberal Republican Senate Leader, and liberal Republican House Speaker. TIL that the Republicans of Florida are actual liberals, who knew?!

  • Larry

    February 3, 2022 at 7:57 am

    Repealing PIP is a great idea and will save those of us with health insurance significant money. Repealing no fault however will be a dream for the lawyers.

    • DR LEON GONYO

      February 3, 2022 at 6:56 pm

      Larry
      Your thinking is flawed. First and foremost regarding todays health insurance most policies to be affordable require huge deductibles. This fact puts an emormous strain on an individual to follow up with appropriate care.
      Also, with todays policies not all the care you require will be paid for by insurance companies. Thus the injured party will be on the hook for any short comings for their care.

  • Tinesely

    February 3, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Citizen hit the bullseye! This is nothing more then the accident lawyers lottery.

    • Chuck

      February 12, 2022 at 9:45 pm

      Tinesely,

      It seems Citizen and you are correct. Just trying to figure out what’s going on here. It’s all very suspect.

      I’m hearing “Greedy Grall” is allegedly a plaintiff BI trial lawyer or involved in a similar area of law? Is this true? If so isn’t this a massive conflict of interest?

      If her PIP repeal legislation succeeds wouldn’t she stand to gain from this mandatory BI being forced on every Floridian? I’m hearing an extra $5,000 dollars per case, allegedly. That would start to add up. If true this is worse than anything Nancy Pelosi has done with her woke left wing friends passing legislation that benefits only her and her husband’s business. Meanwhile her district spirals into a dystopian hell hole of crime and poverty, and her constituents are left holding the bag with skyrocketing inflation and higher costs. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen here because of Grall’s greed! Florida citizens can’t handle higher premiums on top of historic inflation so the liberal plaintiff lawyers can hit the lottery! How sad!

  • marconni

    February 3, 2022 at 10:04 am

    The fix has been in for years. Thank goodness we have a governor who understands economics and vetoed this last year.

  • Stan Parsons

    February 7, 2022 at 10:10 am

    Our legislative leadership has ignored the hard reality’s their predecessors faced in the early 70’s. Perhaps the press and legislative history is archived too deep to be researched and heeded. South Florida court system gridlocked and Florida counties were stressed to meet the fiscal demands of unreimbursed medical care and the the number of the uninsured motorists broke the mandatory liability system.
    Anyone concerned about what Assignment of Benefits has accomplished for “Florida Citizens” growth should be as concerned about the FAJUA and voluntary auto insurance market.
    The concerns Senator Brandes are so very legitimate. Florida history rife with examples of the legislatures influence on ignoring hard learned lessons.

    • Chuck

      February 12, 2022 at 9:54 pm

      Great point, Stan. Greedy Grall doesn’t seem like she wants to read that legislative history. Hard earned gains of the past are so easily pushed aside for profit. Chesterton once said you shouldn’t remove any fence unless you can explain exactly why it was put there in the first place. The principle being that reforms should not be made until the reasoning behind the existing state of affairs is understood. Let’s hope Grall’s greed doesn’t win out. Florida citizens can’t afford skyrocketing premiums!

Comments are closed.


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