Since 1971, Florida only required motorists to carry no-fault insurance, which as some may know, does not provide benefits for victims of negligence but only for the passengers of the insured vehicle. The only other required insurance was property damage. Ever since, there have been many unsuccessful attempts to repeal Florida’s no-fault system. In fact, Florida has been the state most prone to fraud in the United States with Floridians paying extraordinarily high insurance premiums.
In 2021, the Florida legislature introduced House Bill 719 named “Motor Vehicle Insurance” (and Senate Bill 54 respectively). This new legislation will repeal the existing Florida requirement of $10,000 in PIP benefits with required bodily injury liability coverage. In April 2021, the Florida Senate passed SB 54 with a landslide vote of 38-1, and has been effective since January 1, 2022.
Senate Bill 54 includes:
Although well-intentioned, there is worry that this law does not go far enough to cure what ails the Florida insurance sector. After all, The Sunshine State is a state in which jury decisions on dubious injury claims have become common. Residents are inundated with advertisements for trial lawyers boasting of enormous judgments.
Adjusters are regularly accused of bad faith for doing their assigned duty of reviewing claims. All across Florida, auto accident victims are being diagnosed with disk injuries when in fact, they should be classified as soft tissue injury or aggravation of a preexisting condition.
The widespread agreement among consumer organizations and the media is that a disproportionate number of low-income citizens will have to pay more for insurance consequently. This is certainly accurate, however those who currently carry extra coverage may experience premium reductions.
Also, there is a general concern that more Floridians may choose to forego insurance altogether. Due to the legislature's lack of penalization to those who choose to break the law of not carrying insurance by protecting them from being sued for pain and suffering, this could potentially occur in Florida, which already ranks among the top states with the highest percentage of uninsured vehicles on the road.
Personal responsibility dictates that eliminating PIP is the best course of action. Too many people drive their vehicles with the bare minimum PIP and property damage coverage and have not been held responsible when they injure others.
In fact, Florida is the only state where drivers are not required to have bodily injury coverage. While Virginia and New Hampshire do not require vehicle insurance, they both require drivers to post a bond to safeguard the public. Consequently, Florida's uninsured and underinsured premiums are among the nation's highest.
Another important aspect is that PIP was meant to reduce litigation by excluding soft tissue injury claims from coverage. Despite the tort threshold that was intended to restrict these claims, the majority of claims submitted by motorists have been paid in the majority of cases for decades.
We highly urge you to not go through the vehicle accident claim process alone. Many insurance adjusters will take advantage of your lack of experience in this field and will work hard to compensate you as little as possible. Hence, why it is crucial for you to hire an experienced and aggressive Florida auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
At Nooney, Roberts, Hewett & Nowicki, our dedicated team of legal experts will fight for you and to obtain the compensation you justly deserve. Our firm has decades of combined legal expertise in assisting vehicle accident victims just like you.
Call us today at (904) 398-1992 or fill out a quick form to schedule a free initial consultation with our aggressive automobile accident attorneys! ¡Hablamos español!