FLORIDIANS FOR PATIENT ACCESS
OPPOSE HB 719/SB 54
SAVE FLORIDIANS' ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE AND KEEP AUTO INSURANCE AFFORDABLE
PIP PROTECTS FLORIDIANS
Every driver in Florida is required to carry Personal Injury Protection insurance ("PIP") which provides a minimum of $10,000.00 for medical expenses and/or lost wages for people injured in a car accident regardless of who is at fault. The purpose of PIP is to provide quick payment of insurance benefits, providing Floridians with basic medical coverage when injured in a car accident.
PIP insurance is vital to Floridians because it gives immediate access to health care while the issue of fault is resolved through other means, which many times can take many months or years to resolve. Most Floridians cannot afford to pay for the health care necessary to treat injuries related to a car accident.
Those who believe PIP is both working and affordable effectively cite the fact that most insurance carriers in Florida refunded 15-20% of auto insurance premiums in 2020. The few who do not believe PIP is working effectively seek to replace it with mandatory bodily injury (MBI) coverage embodied in Senate Bill 54.
REPEALING PIP WILL INCREASE INSURANCE PREMIUMS
The Florida legislature controls PIP through section 627.428, Fla. Stat. The last major revisions to the PIP statute took place in 2012 with the aim to reduce fraud and lower rates. The amendment enacted reimbursement fee schedules, precise time limitations, and enhanced anti-fraud measures.
Nevertheless, a few years ago, the Florida Justice Association (FJA) and other select advocates of repealing PIP began using the state of Colorado's repeal of PIP to illustrate how rates would decrease if Florida switched from a PIP (no-fault) system to a mandatory bodily injury (MBI) (tort) system.
Colorado abandoned repealed PIP in 2003 in favor of MBI. Initially, insurance premiums decreased, which the FJA latched onto and argued in committee meetings. Yet, Colorado’s auto insurance premiums are now rising rapidly. As a result:
The volume of auto insurance related litigation is growing and so is the size of awards.
Colorado is now third in the nation for rising car insurance premiums.
Colorado is in the top 10/11 overall for cost of auto insurance.
The FJA no longer mentions Colorado as an example when advocating for MBI.
Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis
“The last three years in a row, I’ve expressed my reservations about switching from PIP to BI because the outcome has shown an increase in insurance costs. I still have those reservations...I grew up in a service industry, I had employees that work from month to month, and if you increase their insurance rates by $15 or $18 a month, that’s real money to somebody’s pocket."
REPEALING PIP WILL NOT DECREASE THE NUMBER OF UNINSURED DRIVERS
Who is complaining about PIP? Very few people, apparently. There is no public outcry against the current PIP system and therefore, given the evidence in Colorado, it would be a major miscalculation for Florida to move to MBI:
Florida already has the highest number of uninsured drivers in the country at 26.7%.
Colorado stands at 16% uninsured drivers since switching to MBI.
If Florida changes to MBI and insurance rates increase, rates will increase for people who currently only purchase mandatory coverage and the % of uninsured drivers will not decrease.
MBI is supposedly based on the premise that every person who causes a motor vehicle crash will have minimum financial responsibility for the damages caused. Unfortunately, its proponents do not account for Florida’s unique position in the marketplace.
Over 100 million tourists visit the state annually, many driving the highways of the state. Many are either uninsured, or do not carry insurance that matches Florida coverage, rejecting insurance products offered by the rental car companies. The rental car companies are immune from liability.
Florida already leads the nation in uninsured drivers. Therefore, a new MBI statute eliminate PIP could result in injured motorists without coverage.
For the multitudes of Floridians without health care insurance, this problem is compounded when an injured person cannot find a doctor to treat them without insurance. If they are able to find a doctor to treat them, they will accumulate growing medical bills while waiting for resolution of their MBI case. In contrast, PIP pays physicians within 30 days of submitting their billing.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO OPPOSING HB 719/SB 54
Abolishing PIP and replacing it with MBI would not protect Florida motorists who are injured when an at-fault party is under-insured or not insured at all. MBI sounds like a good idea in theory, but it relies on drivers purchasing insurance they may not want or cannot afford, especially when their insurance rates increase. Maintaining PIP will protect Floridians.
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MAKE A DONATION
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PARTNER WITH US
Contact your State Representative and Senator and ask them to reject this bill and keep auto insurances rate from being increased.