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.
One of the most critical changes to the law involves bad faith lawsuits against insurance companies. Bad faith lawsuits emerge when a claimant alleges that the insurance company reneges its obligation to its policyholder. These claims typically involve an insurer’s delay in investigating or settling a policyholder’s legitimate claim. The new system will create a different framework and standard for governing both the policyholder and insurance company’s conduct.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Florida Car Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Florida motor vehicle accident, contact the injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon. The Miami personal injury attorneys at our firm have extensive experience handling complex civil lawsuits against negligent parties and insurance companies. We consistently provide our clients with compassion, respect, and aggressive representation. Our attorneys understand the bureaucratic and complicated nature of many Florida injury claims, and we work to ensure that our clients recover the compensation they deserve. We handle Florida car, truck, boat accidents, premises liability, defective product, medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims. Contact our office at 877-499-4878, to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our firm. Calling is free, and because we work on a contingency basis, you will not be billed for any of our services unless we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.