Florida’s no-fault system for auto insurance was implemented in 1979, requiring Florida drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP). This system lets drivers use their insurance company to make a claim in a motor vehicle accident.
However, for the past decade, this state legislation has been under attack and it might get some changes in the near future.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident recently and want to understand how current or upcoming changes might affect your claim, consult a personal injury law firm to learn more.
Understanding the Current System
In Florida, the no-fault auto insurance system helps car accident victims receive compensation for their injuries from their insurance companies regardless of fault. The current Florida PIP laws cover the following:
- Up to $10,000 for treatment of medical condition emergencies
- Up to $25,000 for non-emergency treatments
- About 80% of medical bills
Since determining fault isn’t required for victims to benefit from treatments, compensation is awarded much quicker. This also incentivizes drivers to pursue treatment for their injuries almost immediately, as drivers must receive treatment within fourteen days of their injury; otherwise, their benefits might be denied.
Recent Legislation Change Attempts
Many lawmakers in Florida have attempted to reform the system with new changes to PIP laws. For example, in 2021, SB 54 was introduced by the Florida Senate.
This new bill would eliminate the mandatory PIP requirements for auto insurance and a costlier minimum insurance coverage would replace it. Vehicle owners would be required to carry the following:
- A minimum of $25,000 in coverage for physical harm
- A minimum of $50,000 for two or more people in any one accident
- Medpay with limits of $5,000 to compensate emergency services with no deductible to the insured
However, SB 54 was vetoed by Governor Ron DeSantis. The reason was that it drove insurance costs too high for Florida residents, which might result in more uninsured drivers on the road.
In 2022, there were re-appeals for the bill and others, but they did not pass through the House and Senate committees. Following the veto of SB 54, the most recent attempt to propose a new PIP bill occurred in March 2023.
This new PIP bill, SB 586, also aims to remove the no-fault system. If approved, the bill will take effect on July 2024. It would require drivers to show proof of mandatory bodily injury coverage prior to registering a motor vehicle with the state.
The requirements for self-insurance are much higher than before, and drivers must also present proof of financial responsibility in the event of an accident costing $10,000.
The Elimination of PIP Coverage
Suppose new bills eliminate PIP coverage in Florida in the future. In that case, drivers involved in accidents will no longer have immediate coverage for their injuries and will have to pay for the medical bills of injured parties from their own pockets.
On the bright side, if SB 586 is approved, Florida drivers will be protected from uninsured motorists, and the insurance cost will be reduced.