What You Need To Know About The Proposed Changes To The Car Insurance Requirements In Florida (850) 583-8762 (866) 617-5265
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What you need to know about the proposed changes to the car insurance requirements in Florida

BFB_CarIns

by Kimberly M. Hogan

The Florida Legislature is considering changing the minimum security requirements for Florida motor vehicle insurance policies.

What does that mean?  The type of automobile insurance coverage you are required to have might change.

We are so excited about this!  Here’s why:

What are the minimum security requirements now?

Currently, Florida only requires drivers to carry bare bones insurance. All Florida licensed drivers must carry “PIP” (Personal Injury Protection Insurance) in the amount of $10,000.00 and property damage insurance in the amount of $10,000.00.  The PIP insurance covers the driver’s own injuries and lost wages caused by a car crash, without regard to who is at fault.

Florida drivers are currently NOT required to carry any bodily injury coverage.  Bodily Injury Liability coverage pays for serious and permanent injury or death to others when you, or someone insured under your policy, cause a crash involving your automobile. Forty-eight states in the USA require their citizens to carry bodily injury coverage, but not us…not yet.

Why is bodily injury liability coverage so important? If someone carrying bare bones insurance crashes into you, you could be left with mountains of medical bills that you cannot afford to pay, a permanent injury that affects you daily, and no insurance coverage, other than your PIP, for you to make a claim against.  Bodily Injury liability coverage provides insurance coverage that you can make a claim against for your past medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, out of pocket expenses, and for the pain, suffering inconvenience and lost enjoyment of life you’ve suffered as a result of a collision.

What are the proposed changes the Legislature is considering?

Generally speaking, the bills repeal the law that requires PIP (The Florida Motor Vehicle No Fault Law) and, instead, require Floridians to carry a minimum amount of bodily injury coverage on their policy.

The Florida Legislature is considering two bills that address this issue this session: House bill 1063 and Senate bill 1766.  (To read House bill 1063, go to myfloridahouse.gov and enter 1063 into the House Bill search bar. To read Senate Bill 1766, go to flsenate.gov and enter 1766 into the Senate Bill search bar.)

House bill 1063 just passed the House yesterday, April 20, 2017. (Way to go, Representatives!)  Generally speaking, this bill repeals the Florida Motor Vehicle No Fault Law effective July 1, 2018 thus eliminating the requirement that Florida drivers carry PIP insurance.  Additionally, it requires Florida drivers to carry $25,000.00/$50,000.00 (coverage available per injured person/per incident) in Bodily Injury coverage and $10,000.00 in property damage coverage.

Senate bill 1766 is currently being considered by the Senate.  Generally speaking, this bill repeals the Florida Motor Vehicle No Fault Law effective July 1, 2018 eliminating the requirement that Florida drivers carry PIP insurance.  Additionally, it requires Florida drivers to carry $5,000.00 worth of medical payments coverage and has an increasing requirement for bodily injury coverage.  The bill states that from the effective date of the bill until December 31, 2019, Florida drivers would be required to carry $20,000.00/$40,000.00 in bodily injury coverage.  Beginning January 1, 2020, and continuing through December 31, 2021, Florida drivers would be required to carry $25,000.00/$50,000.00 in bodily injury coverage.  Beginning January 1, 2022, and continuing thereafter, Florida drivers would be required to carry $30,000.00/$60,000.00 in bodily injury coverage.

Why Change?

The current automobile insurance system is broken:

  • The government forces Seniors with Medicare and people with health insurance to buy unnecessary insurance[1];
  • Drivers who embrace personal responsibility by carrying bodily injury coverage now are paying too much providing a bailout for irresponsible drivers[2]; and
  • The current required minimum insurance doesn’t begin to cover the costs of persons injured in car crashes[3].

Visit www.responsibilityflorida.com to learn more about the ways that having mandatory bodily injury coverage will benefit Floridians.  This informative website shares the stories of victims of the broken automobile insurance system who were terribly injured in car crashes but had nowhere to turn because of the lack of mandatory bodily injury liability coverage in Florida.

We stand in full support of the effort to repeal The Florida Motor Vehicle No Fault Law and to require mandatory bodily injury liability coverage. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our attorneys at Barrett, Fasig & Brooks.

[1] The main function of PIP is to pay for your medical expenses. If you have decent health insurance, you don’t need PIP.  The current law is requiring people who have health insurance to buy unnecessary coverage.
[2] The Pinnacle group did a report for the Office of Insurance Regulation which showed that if bodily injury liability coverage is made mandatory for all Florida drivers, those who currently have bodily injury liability coverage on their policy will see a premium decrease.
[3] Currently, the law requires that you carry $10,000.00 in PIP insurance.  $10,000.00 does not cover much in terms of medical expenses.  I frequently have clients whose $10,000.00 in PIP coverage is exhausted just by the ambulance to and treatment from the hospital.
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