Florida auto insurance ‘no-fault’ system repeal again proposed

A long-discussed proposal to repeal Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system is headed back to the Legislature in 2018.

Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, filed a bill (SB 150) this week that would repeal the no-fault system, which requires motorists to carry $10,000 in personal-injury protection, or PIP, coverage.

In its place, Lee’s bill would require motorists to carry bodily-injury and medical-payment coverages.

Lawmakers have repeatedly considered revamping auto-insurance laws in recent years and passed a 2012 measure aimed at curbing fraud and lowering rates in the PIP system.

But in a prepared statement this week, Lee pointed to continuing problems with fraud and high insurance premiums.

“While well intentioned anecdotally, Florida’s Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law has resulted in widespread fraud, abuse and a complex litigation process,” Lee said.

“Since its enactment (in the) ’70s, the value of the PIP benefit has eroded, while Florida’s auto insurance premiums continue to rise.”

In June, former Florida Senate president Jeff Atwater spoke to the PIP issue after determining he would leave the statewide elected position of chief financial officer to become vice president at Florida Atlantic University.

“I do believe the sunset of PIP will come at some point in the future,” he said. “I think we tried every possible way to reform it, and I just don’t think we can keep the costs down for the level of the value that it’s providing consumers. I think it’s getting way too expensive for the value to the consumer.”

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