Will Florida’s no-fault auto insurance coverage be eliminated?

Florida State Senator, Tom Lee, is proposing to repeal Florida’s no-fault auto insurance, a system that has been in place since the 1970s. The proposed repeal, which would go in front of the state legislature in 2018, is supported by individuals who say that it is a duplicate insurance that has caused widespread and complex issues within the auto insurance industry.

According to Senator Lee as quoted in the Orlando Sentinel, “While well-intentioned anecdotally, Florida’s motor vehicle no-fault law has resulted in widespread fraud, abuse and a complex litigation process. Since its enactment [in the 1970s], the value of the PIP benefit has eroded, while Florida’s auto insurance premiums continue to rise.”

What is Florida’s no-fault auto insurance?

The state of Florida is a no-fault insurance state meaning that your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover your medical costs up to your limit at 80 percent of the cost for any personal injury in the event of an accident regardless of who caused it. The minimum amount required by the state of Florida for personal injury auto insurance is $10,000. This means that regardless of the damage caused by the accident, not all bills will be paid at 100 percent, and payments from your insurance carrier will be made based on what is reasonable, necessary, and related to the incident.

What are other types of required coverage under Florida auto insurance law?

Florida’s no-fault auto insuranceThere are several other types of coverage that are required under Florida law to carry on your auto insurance. These include:

  • Property Damage Liability (PDL) – Property damage liability insurance coverage (PDL) will cover the costs of any damages you cause to someone else’s property, whether that is a building or another car. The minimum for this in the state of Florida is also $10,000.
  • Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) – Bodily injury liability insurance (BIL) will cover serious injury or death to others when you cause a crash. If another driver is at fault, their BIL will cover the other 20 percent of your medical expenses and above and beyond any additional medical costs. Since Florida does not require BIL, not all drivers may carry this type of insurance.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM) – In Florida it’s also a good idea to carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage (UM), which can protect you in the event that that you are not at fault in an accident and the negligent driver does not have BIL or is underinsured for the amount of bodily harm he/she has caused to you. It will also cover you and your passengers in the event of a hit and run accident. UM insurance may also cover costs associated with medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

What does the new proposal mean for auto insurance?

The new proposal suggests that required insurance includes increased coverage for bodily injury liability and medical payments. Driver responsibility for vehicle accidents would play a bigger role in determining whose insurance makes the payments for injuries sustained as a result of a car crash. This would shift the system over to more of a tort-based system as opposed to no-fault.

It’s important that you comply with all current insurance regulations and requirements if you are a driver and/or owner of a vehicle in the state of Florida. Take a moment to check your insurance coverage, and make sure that you have the right amount and types of coverage before you are involved in any kind of accident. If you need more information regarding auto insurance and Florida’s no-fault system, watch our video on insurance by attorney, Mitch Panter, and visit our “Helpful Hints” page about what to do if you are involved in an accident.

If you are involved in a car accident, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney may be able to help you recover financial losses stemming from the accident.

References:

Florida Senator Proposes to Repeal State’s No-Fault Auto Insurance Law. (2017, August 21). Retrieved August 23, 2017, from http://www.bodyshopbusiness.com/florida-senator-proposes-repeal-states-no-fault-auto-insurance-law/

Florida, N. S. (2017, August 17). Florida auto insurance ‘no-fault’ system repeal again proposed. Retrieved August 23, 2017, from http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-bz-nsf-florida-auto-insurance-no-fault-repeal-20170817-story.html

(2017, August 22). What are the Florida auto insurance requirements? Retrieved August 23, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVaCI_POqMs

(2017, March 18). How much does Florida car insurance actually protect you? | Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. Retrieved August 23, 2017, from http://www.panterlaw.com/2017/03/27/much-florida-car-insurance-actually-protect/