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The Future of Florida Car Insurance

Posted by Sami Thalji | Dec 02, 2021

After years of backdoor dealings and lobbying efforts Florida politicians almost repealed PIP insurance last summer but were unexpectedly vetoed. While the Governor cited “unexpected consequences” for the veto it probably came down to dollars contributed to his campaign by large medical providers that don't want to see an easy source of collection go away. To be clear, Personal Injury Protection Insurance or PIP is commonly referred to as Florida No Fault. In my practice I speak with a lot of clients that initially think Florida No Fault literally means no one is at fault for an accident in Florida. The reality is that it means that regardless of who is at fault, your own car insurance pays up to the first $10,000 of your medical bulls after a car accident. Why? PIP is set up as an incentive to allow injured parties to seek medical treatment without having to hire a lawyer to sue the other party's car insurance carrier. It makes sense in theory but in practice what we see are large medical hedge funds like BayCare often eat the entire $10,000 PIP policy at the initial emergency room visit by running up bills and providing diagnostic testing such as CT scans which are often unnecessary. If you're lucky to escape the emergency room with any PIP left over then daily treatment providers often see PIP coverage as a race to the money. I have seen a number of medical providers blow through $10,000 in PIP coverage in just a handful of patient visits, often providing cookie cutter treatment options that make no impact on the patient. The system is broken for sure, but the core of the problem is that too many drivers in Florida do not have any insurance (about 20%) and Florida does not require bodily injury coverage when purchasing auto insurance. Bodily injury insurance is the coverage the at-fault driver's insurance uses to pay for the other party's injuries. Because Florida does not require bodily injury coverage many drivers don't carry it meaning that there are a significant number of essentially uninsured drivers on Florida's roads. There can be no repeal of PIP insurance without also making high levels of bodily injury coverage mandatory. The reality is that every driver should be required to carry $50,000 in bodily injury coverage without PIP. Solving the auto insurance and injury coverage in Florida is a difficult challenge if trying to do it fairly for all people. There are so many bad players on the marketplace, mainly auto insurance carriers and large medical providers, that finding a solution that won't hurt their bottom line is probably impossible in our current state of dysfunctional politics. This is why it is so important to hire a lawyer immediately if you are hurt in a car accident.   

About the Author

Sami Thalji

Sami Thalji is a native Floridian, born in Clearwater and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. Sami graduated from Osceola High School in Seminole, Florida before attending and receiving both his Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida in Ga...


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