Lobbyists, insurance representatives, and more all arrived at the beginning of March to defend the PIP system, ending in a vote that currently means things aren't likely to change anytime soon. The Senate appropriations subcommittee on health and human services voted 6-1 against the measure to repeal.
What Is PIP And What Was It Going To Be Replaced With?
PIP coverage was created in the 1970s as a way to reduce litigation in the courts. This type of insurance is required of every motorist in Florida, and it covers them regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
In short, if an accident occurs, drivers would submit a claim to their own insurance provider, even if they aren't responsible for the accident. Then, the PIP policy would pay out directly to them regardless of fault. However, the system doesn't provide total restitution in most instances, and it often leaves those injured struggling to make a full financially recovery.
The idea of the repeal was simple - switch the state's requirements over to a system similar to those other states use. In other states, drivers must carry bodily injury liability coverage. In an accident that is their fault, their insurance policy pays out damages to the other person involved in the accident.
Proponents of the repeal were focused on reducing overall costs for Florida drivers, who pay more than $1250 above the national average for insurance costs. Studies found that the change would save an average of $81 per car, and 6.7 percent on their bills overall. In fact, many Florida drivers already carry additional insurance similar to what the new change would have put into place - just to offset the lack of total protection that PIP provides.
Additionally, over the last years the number of PIP claims and litigation was beginning to cost the courts considerably - and drive up the insurance rates for motorists. But, due to the pressure from insurance company lobbyists, the Senate has decided to keep PIP regulations in place for now. It's been a controversial decision, and one that has elicited strong responses on both sides of the argument. But for now, the laws will remain unchanged.
What Does This Mean To Drivers?
For at least another year, PIP coverage is going to remain the law in Florida and those who drive in the state will be required to keep it. As such, the traditional process of seeking compensation for your injuries if you're injured in an accident will be the same as it has been since the implementation of the laws.
If you're injured and need to file a personal injury claim, you'll want to begin by filing one with your insurance company through your PIP plan. However, it's also important to consider seeking compensation from those who are responsible if they acted negligently or recklessly.
The PIP coverage laws aren't going to change just yet, which means that many drivers injured in an accident will have to struggle to get the compensation that they deserve. As such, speaking to a personal injury attorney right after you are involved in an accident is incredibly important. It could be the only way to make certain that you are able to get the help you need and are able to get back on your feet after an accident..