Should Florida bring an End to its No-Fault Insurance System?
In January 2018, the Florida House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of abolishing the State’s no-fault insurance system. House Bill 19 proposed an end to the requirement that drivers maintain $10,000.00 in personal injury protection insurance (PIP) and would instead require motorists to maintain minimum bodily injury policies. As it stands today, PIP insurance is intended to cover ones own injuries in the event of an auto accident, regardless of fault. Many drivers carry bodily injury policies that cover other drivers in case they are at fault; however, in Florida, bodily injury is not required.
The Bill was referred to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services of the Senate, where it was ultimately postponed and withdrawn from consideration. However, it is not a new concept. Today, Florida is one of only 2 states that require drivers to have PIP insurance instead of bodily injury policies. The idea was that a no-fault system would decrease litigation. Nevertheless, PIP litigation continues to rise and at-fault drivers involved in auto accidents are often absolved from responsibility because they lack insurance policies and personal assets to cover the damage cause to other drivers and/or passengers involved.
Other considerations involve the potential for auto insurance savings; however, it is unclear exactly how premiums would be effected if the no-fault system were to be abolished. Regardless, the debate continues. Even if PIP was not required, proponents would still require some sort of medical injury coverage or medpay to ensure that hospitals and emergency personnel are paid, even with the presence of health care coverage.
For now, the system remains. Only time will tell how long it will last and whether or not we will be better off for it.