Articles Posted in Auto Insurance

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Tort reform advocates are once again beating the same old drum, insisting that if Florida would only lower its litigation costs, auto insurers could lower their rates for the rest of us.

personal injury lawyer

Cape Coral car accident lawyers know the main problem with this line of reasoning is it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

As one auto insurance lobbyist testified not long ago, “It’s a misnomer to ever really believe that your rates are going to go down. There are so many pressures for it to go up: Medical costs continue to go up, the cost of the vehicle continues to go up, the amount of wages that you have to compensate for continues to go up. So maybe what you do is slow the rate of rise.”

Even that is a pretty big “maybe.” More than likely, what happens is insurance firms and other large corporations benefit, while those most seriously injured receive less compensation. Continue reading

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Last legislative session, the Florida legislature failed to pass a bill that would have required mandatory bodily injury insurance for drivers in Florida.  The bill would have replaced laws enacted in 1971 as part of a no fault automobile insurance plan.  This change in law aims to replace the current no fault system under which Florida drivers are forced to purchase only Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which is costly, and requires Floridians to purchase additional health insurance that is only in place when they are in a vehicle. According to a State-commissioned actuarial study, the proposed reforms would have saved drivers an average of $81 per car.  Thankfully, last week a second and similar bill cleared it’s only committee in the Florida House and is heading to the floor for a vote. As always, we continue to recommend that Florida drivers purchase Uninsured Motorist insurance coverage as there is currently no requirement that Florida drivers purchase bodily injury insurance to cover the damage they cause unfortunate event of an automobile accident.

Florida’s Current No Fault Automobile Insurance Laws

In 1971, Florida adopted a no fault automobile insurance plan. “No fault” and “PIP coverage” are used interchangeably to describe an automobile insurance plan that allows policyholders to recover money for certain financial losses from their own insurers.  The system was designed to provide injured drivers with up to $10,000 to cover medical bills and certain other costs, regardless of who was at fault for the accident that resulted in their injuries.  Currently, owners of automobiles in Florida are required to  purchase only $10,000 in PIP coverage and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PD coverage).

This current system is not working out very well.  PIP coverage with a $10,000 limit does not cover much, insofar as it covers only 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost income, leaving claimants responsible for 20% of medical expenses and 40% of lost income; and that’s only up to $10,000.00.  Drivers with healthcare insurance are paying for PIP insurance that may overlap, thus double paying; this is especially costly for veterans, and the elderly who are already covered under federal health plans.  A bigger problem is that, according to information provided to a panel of the Florida Senate, Florida drivers are paying insurance premiums that are among the country’s five highest for some of the lowest required coverage amounts. The vast majority of states do not have Florida’s no fault system that continues to riddled with fraud and leaves many victims responsible for their medical bills caused by the negligence of another driver.

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