Florida May Get Rid Of “No-Fault” Driver Policy

Many states have a law requiring drivers to carry auto insurance. These states are typically divided into at-fault and no-fault states. In at-fault states, drivers may rely on the auto insurance of the driver who was at fault in the accident to pay for medical expenses and property damage. In no-fault states, each driver is required to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance to cover their injuries in an accident. Only after that amount has been covered will the at-fault driver’s insurance help to pay for damages and medical expenses.

Florida is currently a no-fault state, but that may change since the law doesn’t seem to be fulfilling its intent, as Watch Dog reports.

Florida adopted the personal injury protection (PIP) laws back in 1979. It remains one of only ten states with a “no-fault” mandate that drivers must carry $10,000 in personal injury insurance. The original intent was to ensure that timely payment for injuries was made and to avoid inundating the court system with lawsuits. However, after 40 years, it doesn’t appear the law is containing litigation. PIP lawsuits account for nearly 50% of fraud referrals.

On Monday, the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee approved Senate Bill 1052, which would repeal the PIP law. It would also require insurers to offer motorists “minimum security requirements” for bodily injury liability as well as property damage. The new bill would also eliminate caps on damages for pain and suffering.

The final hurdle before the bill can move to the Senate floor is to pass the Senate Appropriations Committee.