For nearly the last 50 years, Florida followed the no-fault insurance law framework. Under this system, Florida motor vehicle accident victims often had to pursue compensation through their insurance company rather than the at-fault driver. Proponents of the system purported that no-fault insurance laws provided injury victims with an efficient way to recover compensation. However, critics claim that the system underestimated and limited the damages that injury victims could claim after an accident. Although there have been several reforms, insurance costs have been increasing without providing significant additional coverage to policyholders. In response to these growing concerns, the Florida House voted to repeal its longstanding insurance laws.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill (SB 54) that will do away with the requirement that motorists maintain personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Instead, SB 54 mandates that policyholders carry bodily injury (BI) coverage. Similarly, the Florida Senate is working to pass SB 150, which will repeal mandatory PIP coverage and require Florida motorists to purchase BI coverage at $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident, $10,000 for property damage and $5,000 medical coverage. Supporters of the bill cite a recent study that found that Floridians could save over $80 per vehicle, or nearly $1 billion collectively.
Additionally, the bill reduces coverage limits for low-income individuals and students. However, some question the change because the bill does not require proof of eligibility to qualify for the lower-income plan. Further, the plan may potentially allow drivers to pay deductibles for windshield repairs. The windshield addition came after insurance companies criticized vehicle-glass businesses for offering incentives to get their windshields replaced. At the moment, motorists do not have to pay to get their windshields repaired. The proposal would require insurance companies to offer plans with deductibles up to $200 for windshield repairs.