A state legislator said Tuesday he filed legislation to repeal the state’s requirement that Florida drivers buy Personal Injury Protection car insurance by 2020, which would end the state’s no-fault system in place since the 1970s.
An actuarial study released in September found dropping the requirement would save drivers an average of $81 per car statewide, or close to $1 billion a year, even with expected increases in other parts of the bill, such as bodily-injury liability premiums.
“Absolutely it’s one the strongest arguments we have that we can save Floridians potentially $1 billion going forward,” State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, told The Palm Beach Post.
Floridians pay the nation’s fourth highest car insurance bills.
Drivers in Lake Worth, Delray Beach and other cities have told The Post they resent having to pay rising premiums for $10,000 worth of PIP coverage no matter how much health insurance they already have through Medicare or private plans, with one calling it a form of “double taxation.” PIP covers minor injuries no matter who is at fault in an accident, but the system has been dogged by fraud and high costs despite numerous attempts to “fix” it. Drivers in South Florida have been forced to pay PIP rate increases up to 40 percent since 2014 even if they have never been involved in an accident.
Hospitals, along with some specialty medical providers, attorneys and insurers, have defended keeping the system, saying it helps make sure drivers have at least some medical insurance.
The Brandes legislation has not yet been assigned a bill number or entered the state’s electronic system. Brandes and Rep. Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach, filed bills last year to end PIP that did not get very far, but the senator said there is a growing sense the state can do better in the 21st century.
“The first step is to admit you have a problem,” Brandes said. “We have a problem with PIP.”