The Florida House of Representatives voted to end the no-fault car insurance system that has been in place since the 1970s. The issue now heads to the Senate, where there are steadily rising expectations that it will pass its own edition of the repeal this year after failing to do so in 2017.
The 88-15 vote sent a clear message that state lawmakers want to overhaul the way Florida handles car insurance and accident claims. Now, the lower chamber turns its attention to a system that would replace the existing no-fault system.
What would the new system look like?
Under House Bill 19, drivers could save $81 per vehicle (collectively, nearly $1 billion) on auto insurance. This net savings occurs after projected increases for bodily injury liability coverage, which the state would require at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident under the plan presented in the House.
This would not significantly affect most drivers in the state, as more than 90 percent Floridians already have at least a minimum level of bodily injury coverage. The savings would come as a result of drivers no longer being required to pay for PIP, the premiums for which have climbed by double digits in the last several years — even for drivers with a clean accident records.
The bill in the Senate repeals PIP and requires bodily injury liability coverage at amounts that would be phased in over the course of several years. It would also require drivers to purchase $5,000 of “medical payments” coverage that would cover a driver’s own injuries.
Both bills are in the early phases of discussion, but it seems inevitable that big changes are coming to car insurance laws in Florida. For the guidance and advice you need after a crash, contact a dedicated Florida auto accident attorney with Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.