POSSIBLE CHANGES TO FLORIDA’S NO FAULT (PIP) LAW COMING

In January 2018, the Florida Senate will consider a proposal that would replace the state's no-fault auto insurance system, while a similar bill has already has gone to the House floor.

The senate proposal would repeal the no-fault law, which requires motorists to carry $10,000 in personal-injury protection, or PIP, coverage to help pay medical expenses after accidents. It would require motorists to carry $5,000 in what is known as medical payments coverage, or MedPay, and minimum amounts of bodily-injury coverage that would increase over time.

The requirement that motorists carry $10,000 in PIP coverage hasn't changed since 1979.

The House proposal does not include a requirement of carrying MedPay coverage. The House measure, which faces opposition from some insurers, business groups and medical providers, has been projected to save motorists on average about $80 a year.

Under the proposed bill, starting Jan. 1, 2019, Florida would set a minimum of $20,000 for bodily injury protection that includes coverage for the injury or death of one person and $40,000 for injury or death of two or more people. The coverage would grow to $25,000 and $50,000 two years later and to $30,000 and $60,000 on Jan. 1, 2023.

Lawmakers in 2012 passed a package of changes at the urging of Gov. Rick Scott and then-state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, that were considered a last-ditch effort to maintain the no-fault system after rates increased because of fraudulent claims. Lawmakers in both chambers have considered bills annually since 2013 that sought to repeal PIP.

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