A rise in auto accident rates across the state means Florida drivers are paying more for their car insurance, adding more costs to premiums that already exceed the national average.
Insurance premiums in the state have risen about 14 percent since January 2015. State officials attribute the higher accident rates to more people hitting the road in Florida due to low gas prices and an improving economy.
More action needed at the state level
For more than 45 years, the state has required all motorists to carry at least $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to cover minor accident claims. The lawmakers who passed the law in 1972 aimed to reduce burdens on the court system for lawsuits related to car accidents, although increasing PIP fraud led the state legislature to revamp the law in 2013. Car insurance rates declined in the first two years afterward, but then began to rise again in 2015.
Some traffic safety advocates propose eliminating Florida’s no-fault car insurance law — something that would difficult to do because of competing interests with the insurance and healthcare industries.
Last year, Florida’s car accident rate rose about 9 percent from the year prior. And, the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles estimated that people drove more than 550 million miles on Florida’s roads and highways in 2014, marking a new high.
If you get involved in a crash, you may need to seek additional damages from the at-fault party or an insurance company. To learn more about your legal options, consult a skilled Bradenton car accident attorney with Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.