By Angela Cavallari Walker
Florida is one of twelve states and Puerto Rico that are part of the no-fault auto insurance system. But that may change if Florida lawmakers pass the proposed measure HB 771.
This is not the first time that Florida lawmakers have considered giving the “ax” to the no-fault policy. However, Florida insurance agency and insurance industry experts are not big fans of measure HB 771 and for good reason.
Supporters of the measure contend that it could protect Florida drivers in spite of worries from auto insurance industry experts that the opposite would be true and in fact, would lead to skyrocketing lawsuits, and a rise in Florida auto insurance premiums and health insurance rates.
So what does no-fault mean? Well, it doesn’t mean that you cannot be found at fault for an accident. Basically, it requires that drivers carry PIP insurance or personal injury protection insurance. PIP covers any loss of income or medical costs related to injuries sustained as the result of an accident. This also applies to any passengers that were in your vehicle at the time even if you were not at fault and the other driver caused the accident.
HB 771 would swap out PIP insurance with mandatory bodily injury coverage. Additionally, the proposed measure would force auto insurers to offer MedPay to consumers. Simply put, MedPay would cover medical payments. What the measure fails to address would be “bad faith” lawsuits. These lawsuits are based on the belief that insurers failed to provide for their customers.
To date, the state of Florida requires that all drivers carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP. The new proposed measure would require $25,000 in bodily injury coverage.
For now, Florida lawmakers still have their work cut out for them. Got questions? Feel free to reach out to our office and we would be happy to answer what this proposed bill means for your Florida auto insurance policy.