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Wednesday, 21 April 2021 15:35

Florida Drives Toward Repeal of Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law

Written by Amy O’Connor, Insurance Journal

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After many years of trying, Florida is closer than ever to repealing its 50-year-old motor vehicle no-fault law.

However, many industry stakeholders expressed opposition to the legislation passed by the Florida Senate and its companion bill approved by the House Judiciary Committee on April 19, saying the proposals will actually raise rates for many Florida drivers and be ineffective at weeding out fraud.

 

Florida’s current no-fault law requires drivers to carry personal injury protection coverage of $10,000. If passed, the new law would instead require drivers carry bodily injury liability coverage with limits starting at $25,000 per person.

 

Senate Bill 54 and House Bill 719 would also create a new framework to govern motor vehicle claims handling and third-party bad faith failure to settle actions against motor vehicle insurance carriers. The bills also require policies include a medical payments option of $5,000, though under the House version insureds can opt out of purchasing the coverage.

 

SB 54’s minimum liability requirements for motor vehicle ownership or operation include:

 

  • For bodily injury (BI) or death of one person in any one crash, $25,000, and, subject to that limit for one person, $50,000 for BI or death of two or more people in any one crash.
  • Retaining the existing $10,000 financial responsibility requirement for property damage.
  • Eliminating 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 may also offer medical payments coverage with limits of $10,000, without a deductible, to cover medical expenses of the insured. Insurers can offer other policy limits that exceed $5,000 and may offer deductibles of up to $500.

 

SB 54 requires insurers reserve the first $5,000 of MedPay benefits for 30 days to pay providers of emergency services or hospital inpatient care.

 

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