Florida’s No-Fault Insurance is Gone. What does this mean for Florida Drivers?
Car insurance in Florida is fairly unique from the rest of the country. There are very few no-fault states, 12 to be exact, and Florida is technically still one of them but, not for long.
The Florida Senate has voted to end “no-fault” auto insurance in the Sunshine State.
Despite the pushback, our state lawmakers have finally made one of the biggest changes to automobile insurance laws in nearly fifty years. They are finally doing away with Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance.
This change is a major cause for concern to many drivers, unsure how these changes may affect them and their families going forward.
From costs to coverage options, let’s see what changes we can expect to see as a result of the proposed transition.
First, why change insurance requirements at all?
The goal of these changes is to increase the amount of insured drivers on the roadways. Currently, if a Florida driver is involved in a car accident, the first $10,000 in medical expenses and damages are covered through Florida’s “no fault” insurance, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
These minimum insurance requirements cover up to $10,000 worth of medical, disability, and funeral expenses when needed and protect you even if the driver you were hit by is uninsured.
FACT: More than 20% of Florida drivers are driving around uninsured, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
By removing “no-fault” insurance, the Florida Senate is hoping to increase the amount of insured drivers on the road, while keeping insurance premiums as affordable as possible.
How will this affect Auto Insurance in Florida?
By January 1st 2022, nearly every motorist in Florida will have a new insurance policy.
Prior to these modifications, proof of bodily injury coverage in the state of Florida was only required upon accidental injury. With these changes, every single driver will be required by law to maintain a minimum bodily injury coverage of $25,000 at all times with $50,000 when they register a vehicle.
The state has not released any information on how these changes will affect costs to drivers as far as premiums go.
As noted by the Miami Herald, it is suspected that rates may become more affordable for Florida drivers that already carry bodily injury coverage. However, drivers that were carry “cut rate” or no insurance will no be required to carry more, which will inevitably raise their rates.
With unknown repercussions, especially as far as costs and premiums go, critics are apprehensive about the effects these changes will have on the less fortunate drivers. There is a good possibility that these changes will increase their rates substantially.
Critics also note that lawmakers have made attempts to reform Florida car insurance requirements for years, receiving push back based on opposing lobbying groups: Lawyers versus insurance companies. Having finally reached a consensus, no time was wasted to pass the bill on to the House.
Across the nation, insurance rates and premiums have been on the rise and Florida lawmakers seem to believe that they’ve found a way to mitigate this in their home state. We will see what transpires from this. Such drastic proposed changes are certainly making waves and, our industry especially is buzzing with debate. The House may find that the transition to ending “no fault” insurance in Florida may need more study than what has been looked at so far.
Depending on financial circumstances, ending “no fault” insurance will affect all Florida drivers differently. We will be following this development closely to keep our clients and their cases up to date with the latest in auto insurance and personal injury law.