What the Expiring Florida Personal Injury Protection Could Mean to You!
When insurance companies urged for the end of Florida's PIP law-which requires drivers in the state to purchase $10,000 of personal injury protection for medical care after a car accident-they championed how its demise would reduce cases of fraud and even result in lower insurance rates for people.
With the Florida personal injury protection law officially set to expire in less than two months on October 1st, its end is likely going to lead to the exact opposite effect in terms of insurance rates. A Tampa Bay Online story detailed that insurance rates will likely go up following the coronation of the Florida personal injury protection law.
A spokesman for the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles said in the story that good drivers will not be required to carry insurance in Florida after PIP's death while drivers who get into accidents and have no insurance will be required to carry some for a certain amount of time. Florida would thus join Tennessee, Wisconsin and Iowa as the only states to not require drivers to carry some type of auto insurance.
The story thus indicated that the end of mandatory auto insurance in Florida could result in insurance rate increases of 25 to 30 percent since the risk of getting in an accident with an uninsured driver will rise.
The Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles has also said that the death of PIP will mean the end of another form of mandatory auto coverage in the state, property damage liability. In addition to personal injury protection, Florida drivers are currently required to carry at least $10,000 of property damage liability coverage, which the department maintains will cease to be with then end of personal injury protection despite the "reassurances" of insurance companies that it may not.
These likelihoods are exactly what proponents of Florida personal injury protection had been warning legislators of before the law expired. Governor Charlie Crist had indicated that he may call a special session in September to try and reform Florida's personal injury protection law rather than letting it fade away. However, such things have been said before in the past couple of months and nothing has been done as of this point; thus leaving followers of the PIP debate skeptical that something will get done.
Demise of Florida Personal Injury Protection Law to Equal Higher Costs for Medical Care?
Florida hospitals were pushing hard for the renewal of Florida's personal injury protection law because it protected them from incurring the costs of treating drivers without health insurance. Without this protection, the story indicated that the state's hospitals and trauma centers will likely have to split a bill of at least $350 million.
Naturally to pay for these costs, these hospitals and trauma centers will have to pass on some of the financial responsibility to people with health insurance. An attorney for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida was quoted in the story as saying that this could lead to a monthly increase in health insurance of at least five dollars per family member. While that may not seem like a lot of money to an individual, it will certainly build up for larger families.
Florida Personal Injury Protection Debate Reaffirms Point about Insurance Companies
As this Florida personal injury protection debate reveals, it's hard to trust insurance companies when it comes to dealing with personal injuries. We've previously detailed estimations that the end of Florida personal injury protection will save auto insurance companies $350 million a year.
The fact that auto insurance companies have been so boisterous in removing PIP underlies the point that they are typically working with their bottom lines in mind despite anything else. It's a shame that these auto insurance companies are simply trying to save money by passing the finances onto other sectors like health care, but what else would you expect from them?
If you've suffered a personal injury and have been contacted by an insurance company, don't take them for their word. Speak to a local personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine what to do next. Simply fill out our free personal injury case evaluation form or call 877-288-7564, and we'll help you get in touch with a sponsoring personal injury lawyer who can help you learn more about your legal personal injury rights and options.