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Personal Injury Protection is Here to Stay

Personal Injury Protection is Here to Stay

On June 29, 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, vetoed the bill called CS/SB 54 which if signed by the Governor would have repealed Florida drivers’ personal injury protection (PIP). In Florida, 627.736 Florida Statutes (No-Fault insurance) states that when a driver gets into an accident, no matter who was at fault, the driver is entitled to medical coverage up to $10,000 in benefits. Currently, the minimum automobile insurance limits are as follows:

PIP: $10,000 (mandatory)

Bodily Injury: $10,000 (optional)

Bodily Injury Per Accident: $20,000 (optional) (2 more injured persons)

Property Damage: $10,000 (mandatory)

WHAT WAS PROPOSED IN BILL SB 54?

The following is what the bill proposed:

Bodily Injury: $25,000 (mandatory)

Bodily Injury Per Accident: $50,000 (mandatory) (2 more injured persons)

Property Damage: $10,000 (mandatory)

A major benefit to drivers was the elimination of the limitations on recovering pain and suffering damages from PIP insurers, which currently require bodily injury that causes death or significant and permanent injury. Insurers would have been able to offer medical payment coverage with limits of $10,000, without a deductible, to cover the medical expenses of the insured. Insurers would have also been able to offer other policy limits that exceed $5,000 and deductibles of up to $500. SB 54 required that insurers must reserve the first $5,000 of MedPay benefits for 30 days to pay providers of emergency services or hospital inpatient care.

 

WHY DID THE GOVERNOR DECLINE TO SIGN IT?

Governor DeSantis stated in his veto letter dated June 29, 2021, that:

“While the PIP system has flaws and Florida law regarding bad faith is deficient…SB 54 does not adequately address the current issues facing Florida drivers and may have unintended consequences that would negatively impact both the market and consumer.”

If this bill was signed a big concern was that premiums would have increased for all drivers. Moreover, if signed Floridians would have been forced to buy more auto insurance and the hardest hit would have been the low-income drivers and those least able to afford it. A study from the Personal insurance Federation of Florida found that more than 20% of drivers in Florida are currently uninsured.

The PIP law was initially enacted to reduce litigation. However, many believe that litigation increased. Regardless of what people’s opinions are, PIP for now is here to stay.

Contact the Ledezma Law Firm at 561-454-9727 or email attorney Renier Ledezma at rledezma@ledezmalawfirm.com and we will help you if you are involved in an accident and help you understand personal injury protection law and how it will affect you and your family.  We can help you whether you are in Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, Okeechobee or anywhere in South Florida.