IN MIAMI, THE PERAZZO LAW FIRM SHARES LATEST INFO ON BILL 54 PIP REFORM
NO-FAULT INSURANCE (PIP) REFORM VETOED
Governor Ron DeSantis has brought relief to the insurance industry and its representatives after vetoing a bid to repeal Florida’s PIP auto insurance system through Bill 54, which many believe would have caused insurance rates to rise. The bill, which would have radically altered the current Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance system for motorists involved in car accidents, was set to replace PIP with Bodily Injury (BI) coverage and requirements. The aim of the bill was to also offer guidelines for handling bad-faith litigation when filing insurance claims for compensation after a car accident in which motorists or passengers suffer personal injury and require medical treatment. Fortunately for personal injury attorneys and medical providers, Governor DeSantis felt that the provisions were not enough to pass Bill 54 and revamp the current PIP system. DeSantis stated the following, “Senate Bill 54 does not adequately address the current issues facing Florida drivers and may have unintended consequences that would negatively impact both the market and consumers.” Though the decision comes as good news to some, insurance providers maintain that the reform measures fail to fully harness bad-faith maneuvers by personal injury lawyers when seeking compensation for their car accident victims, alleging that the claimant’s real losses are inaccurately calculated. In an email to Florida Record, Kyle Ulrich, president, and CEO of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents, stated the following, “there was too much uncertainty about the cost implications of SB 54, and its impacts on drivers in Florida who can least afford a premium increase.” Furthermore, a switch to mandatory BI from PIP would have potentially caused a dramatic rise in insurance premiums to Florida motorists carrying PIP, which would have ultimately led to many motor vehicle owners unable to afford any insurance at all. This would have led to an increase in uninsured motorists on Florida avenues, streets, and highways. This fact would have been terrible news for victims of car accidents unable to afford medical care to treat personal injury, without the possibility of filing an insurance claim against the driver at fault. In a nutshell, mandating that Florida motor vehicle owners spend more on insurance would have made no sense and would have led to many accident victims unable to receive medical treatment for injuries after a car accident. According to statistics provided by the PIFF, 20% of all Florida motor vehicle owners and operators do not carry auto insurance, with this being the result of an inability to afford the current insurance rates set by insurance providers and the insurance industry in Florida.