Over the objections of Florida insurance companies, the House Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee on Monday voted 15-3 to pass a bill that would eliminate Florida’s long-standing no-fault insurance program and the requirement to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP).
Before the vote, HB 1525 bill sponsor Rep. Erin Grall called out the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) for its decision last year to commission a report on the fiscal impact of a near-identical bill from 2021 that eliminated PIP. The OIR released the Pinnacle report before Gov Ron DeSantis vetoed the bill.
Sen. Jeff Brandes said last week it would be “legislative malpractice” to consider near-identical legislation and not have any additional information on the fiscal impact.
“This is what I would say where there is malpractice. I think there was agency malpractice. To commission a report on draft legislation to accept that report even though the report did not address the components of the bill that was passed, to hold that report until after we left for Session and to present it without the ability to respond to it is malpractice,” Grall said. “And every single one of us should be upset that an agency would have motivations to kill the policy that we work on.”
She also blasted Pinnacle for putting together a report that misstated facts that she said are easily accessible, such as the percentage of uninsured drivers, saying it was equivalent to actuarial malpractice.
Grall said it would be “legislative malpractice” to create policy based on talking points from an industry that “wants to protect the profits they seek to lose with this reform.”
Grall also tried to redirect the debate from the number of Florida drivers who could see their rates increase under Grall’s 2022 bill to the number of drivers whose rates would go down if they weren’t required to carry PIP.
Grall said 6.6% of the drivers on the road today have basic coverage requirements that are less than what Grall’s bill would require. Their rates are most likely going to increase under the bill. But Grall said two-thirds of Florida’s insured drivers have coverage that exceeds what her bill requires in addition to carrying PIP coverage. Eliminating PIP would reduce rates for those drivers.
“Why aren’t we talking about the number of our constituents that will experience a decrease as we move away from a system that is riddled with fraud?” she asked.
The PIP debates have been some of the most acrimonious in the Florida Legislature. It has been described as a circus atmosphere by some lobbyists.
PIP covers the policyholder’s medical expenses regardless of who caused the accident. Drivers injured in car accidents who require emergency medical care have $10,000 in coverage. Otherwise, PIP provides $2,500 in medical coverage.
Grall’s bill eliminates the no-fault system and the requirement that drivers carry $10,000 in PIP coverage. Grall’s bill would return Florida to a fault-based system and would require Florida drivers to carry bodily injury coverage with a $25,000 limit for one person’s bodily injury or death and $50,000 for the bodily injury or death of two or more people.
Insurance companies also would be mandated to offer policyholders the option to purchase a so-called “MedPay” plan for health care costs. Insurance carriers would be required to provide a zero deductible Med Pay policy with limits of $5,000 or $10,000.
Unlike the bill DeSantis vetoed last year, the House bill would require drivers to opt into the MedPay program.
Many of the insurance companies that testified Monday said the state should not eliminate PIP by reforming the state’s bad faith laws. While the 2021 bill DeSantis vetoed contained bad faith reforms and was deemed compromise language, insurers don’t think it goes far enough. But Grall doesn’t appear to have an appetite to include bad faith changes in her bill.
Sen. Danny Burgess, sponsor of SB 150, the Senate companion bill, does include the bad faith language from the 2021 bill.
Brent Steinberg, a lawyer with the group Taxpayers Against Insurers Bad Faith, told committee members that insurance companies don’t have to worry about bad faith claims if they do what’s in the best interest of their policyholders.
“I’m here to oppose any effort to weaken (the bad faith law),” he said, adding insurers will never be happy” until they are given complete immunity.”
February 8, 2022 at 8:47 am
Grall is an ambulance chaser, pure and simple. This bill, which she crafted is her “right to earn more money” law. The office of Insurance did the right thing last year, and so did DeSantis. Absolutely no one except Grall and her minions are pushing for this bill. Citizens need to stay alert, the fix is in!
February 8, 2022 at 3:15 pm
OIR did the people of FL dirty last year, and Grall has receipts. Only Chiros and physical therapy professionals making their money from PIP want to keep things like they are. FL is one of the only states left with no-fault, and the rates reflect how backwards that is. Get rid of PIP, FL consumers save money and Big Insurance makes less.
February 9, 2022 at 5:01 pm
All Grall’s bill does is shift the $10000 set aside for medical and put it lawyers pockets. You’re out of your mind if you think swapping where that money goes is lowering your insurance. You want to lower rates, ban lawyer billboards. How far can you go in this state with out seeing a promise to get you thousands of dollars? Mysteriously, any lawyer reforms are missing.
February 9, 2022 at 6:06 pm
Sweet gorilla math there. You are gaslighting, or you genuinely don’t know how the legislation works. That’s ok—the FJA has your back..
Regarding lawyer billboards, that is some serious snowflake stuff you are spewing. I hope you never get into an accident and have Big Insurance try to stiff you on your claim. Would you represent yourself in court? Who do you turn to when Big Insurance acts in bad faith?
The gig is just about up for you PIP vamps. You he people of FL spoke last year when MBI passed both chambers (by a very wide margin).
February 8, 2022 at 11:22 am
If you object to this attempt to send our auto insurance rates through the roof; click this link to send an email to your state rep;
February 8, 2022 at 3:17 pm
I’m sure Big Insurance will appreciate your smear campaign.
February 8, 2022 at 9:17 pm
Grall is all about the money and just wants to line her pockets. With PIP in place her hands are tied when it comes to money being passed. If this bill is passed, she will screw all her clients and providers because she will control the settlements. This is what happens in all non PIP states with terrible law practices by lawyers.
February 9, 2022 at 12:01 am
There is a reason PIP stays in place, and that is purely because Big Insurance and a subset of the medical community feed off PIP like vampires. PIP is outdated/underfunded and only serves this aforementioned subset (along with Big Insurance, who funds “Securing Our Future”. It’s almost as bad as BiG Pharma lining it’s own pockets. PIP is a major rip-off for consumers, and the vast majority of policy holders will save money when it is finally eliminated.
Picking on Grall shows how weak you are. She helps her clients who have been crippled or killed by the negligence of others… on top of sponsoring pro-life legislation each year, her early education legislation bringing FL into the 21st century to the chagrin of the establishment, and keeping Chamber slappies like you in check by getting re-elected every term.
Enjoy the next decade of her in the Senate.
February 8, 2022 at 10:54 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.
February 9, 2022 at 9:28 am
It’s impressive how wrong you are. Big Insurance commissions a report to prove they need to keep lining their pockets with PIP, and you call it legit? That’s laughable. There is a mountain of data, on the other hand, to show PIP is keeping rates needlessly high for the majority of policy-holders in FL. That was presented in committee, just in case you missed it.
Of the remaining pure no-fault states, 7/12 are blue states. Also, PIP repeal—sponsored by conservative Carlos Trujillo before Grall, who is arguably the most conservative member of the Florida Legislature—passed both the House and Senate last year, and was only vocally opposed by one cabinet member with close ties to the CoC. Let’s not pretend this is liberal agenda stuff when PIP,—unchanged monetarily for 51 years, still $10K coverage with no adjustment for inflation—helps so few in such a small way.
February 9, 2022 at 11:06 am
Liberty4CA, you are either a personal injury lawyer, a lobbiest for for Grall, or you are actually her.
This bill give give lawyers an automatic raise of between 3-5k per case they settle. Who would say no to that? However, we the driving public will pay the price as our premiums will skyrocket.
An independent study last year confirmed this.
February 9, 2022 at 4:52 pm
1971 wants their insurance plan back.
$10K in PiP has a fraction of the power it did 50 years ago.
OIR releasing their biased report after it had been passed by both chambers is the definition of sleazy politics. It was as independent as a baby duck.
The majority of Floridians will see premiums go down when PIP is gone, as they won’t be carrying the market anymore for Big Insurance.
February 12, 2022 at 9:31 pm
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? 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.
February 9, 2022 at 1:49 pm
How is it that Erin Grall accuses Office of Insurance Regulation of ‘agency malpractice’, yet she is not removed from this issue for her obvious conflict of interest?
February 9, 2022 at 4:35 pm
OIR playing go-fetch for Big Insurance is a very Big Pharma/FDA relationship…. The State arm rubber-stamps for the corporate arm. OIR goes to bat for PIP in committee, saying, “Look at my definitive report! (Please don’t notice who paid for the report)”
Only people who have the best interest of Big Insurance in mind don’t want an expert in auto insurance litigation tackling the issue.
We’re you this upset when Carlos Trujillo ran this legislation years back, or does it upset you a woman is leading the much-needed reform?
February 10, 2022 at 2:28 pm
I don’t know who Carlos Trujillo is, nor do I understand how gender plays any roll in this conversation?
The FJA and yourself were very happy with the 2018 Pinnacle Report, and you had no criticism of the OIR paying for it then, but boy when the report comes out saying something you don’t like your screaming at the top of your lungs.
Why is it that to you the OIR is “The State arm rubber-stamps for the corporate arm” when it’s convenient for you, yet where were you complaining in 2018?
Your a hypocrite who should recuse herself due to an obvious conflict of interest.
February 11, 2022 at 1:04 pm
Trujillo carried MBI legislation in the House before Grall’s arrival. You must be new to Florida, because Trujillo was the Appropriations Chair for the House before he was chosen to be the US Ambassador to the Organization of American States. Or were you just asleep back then?
The thing with the 2018 Pinnacle Report is that OIR disregarded it, saying in committee in ensuing years that their office felt that Floridians would end up paying more on the average. Another thing about the 2018 Pinnacle Report is that it was also biased, but not so biased it couldn’t show that FL was better off without the half-century-old PIP which has NEVER been adjusted for inflation. Don’t get it twisted, the FJA never loved that 2018 report because it was soft-peddling the just how much the average FL driver would save (among other things).
You don’t even know who Trujillo is, and you obviously can’t see that Pinnacle wrote its report to not only satisfy OIR/Big Insurance–but also to release it just after legislative session ended just so Burgess and Grall couldn’t poke massive holes in its fiction.
It’s obvious you don’t like it when an expert carries an insurance bill, but that doesn’t make you special. It just shows you are a complicit in the cover-up.
February 10, 2022 at 9:20 am
2018 – Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, Inc. was retained by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to conduct an actuarial study to estimate the cost savings that have resulted from HB 119, which introduced a series of automobile insurance reforms for the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage!!
Why was this report and findings ok, but when the study by the exact same group is paid for by the OiR it’s not ok?
Erin it’s time to recuse yourself!!
February 10, 2022 at 11:55 am
I meant to write above: “Why was this report and findings ok with the FJA in 2018, but when the study by the exact same group is paid for by the OIR 4 years later it’s not ok?”
February 11, 2022 at 1:08 pm
What’s not OK is the misrepresentation of data and releasing the report after session. It was obvious that since both chambers passed the MBI off the floor (by a huge margin, mind you), that it would take a powerful work of fiction to come out for that bill to get vetoed. Lo and behold, that fiction was released right after session and OIR/Big Insurance got exactly what they wanted.
February 15, 2022 at 11:30 am
“Greedy Grall” is a plaintiff BI trial lawyer. She is guilty of legislative malpractice for trying to smear the OIR report of last year.
Her and her squad of legislative ambulance chasing PI lawyers refuse to reproduce a report of their own. Anyone wonder why? Because it too would produce results contrary to what she claims.
What should she be working on: homeowners insurance which is a crisis in Florida, high gas prices, which by the way DeSantis has offered a tax holiday to help, but which Grall and her cohorts refuse to even consider, Lake Okeechobee and Everglades restoration, but noooooooo. None of those issues will enhance her checkbook balance. So she remains laser focused on the one issue that will build her account balance, while hurting the average citizen of Florida.
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