Debate continues as no-fault insurance repeal awaits governor’s signature

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 10:13 PM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Florida’s no-fault auto insurance law is on the chopping block as legislation that would repeal the decades-old law awaits the Governor’s signature.

Florida’s no-fault law currently requires drivers to carry at least $10,000 of personal injury protection coverage.

“Honesty that dollar amount is gone the second you walk through the emergency room door,” said State Senator Danny Burgess, who sponsored the repeal in the Florida Senate.

Burgess argued his legislation, which would now require drivers to carry $25,000 of bodily injury coverage, will lower rates by five to six percent on average and provide better coverage.

But Logan McFaddin with the American Property Casualty Insurance Association said the change could raise rates by $860 a year for the 40 percent of motorists currently holding the minimum coverage.

As it stands, one out of five Floridians doesn’t have auto insurance at all.

“We don’t want the people that can afford it the least getting hit the hardest and then potentially becoming uninsured,” said McFaddin.

Burgess said because the new system includes measures to reduce fraud, it will ultimately lead to lower rates.

“The holy grail of TORT reform is bad faith reform. We have some meaningful things in this bill that are going to further reduce costs,” said Burgess.

But McFaddin believes it will do exactly the opposite.

“The definitions in the bill do provide a lot more ambiguity and in the legal system that opens the doors for more lawsuits,” said McFaddin.

Now the governor is faced with the difficult task of sifting through the countervailing narratives and deciding whether repealing the 50-year-old law will truly lead to savings or rate hikes.

We reached out to the Governor’s Office for insight on the Governor’s position on the no-fault repeal but did not hear back in time for this story.

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association told us Floridians have sent the governor more than 35,000 letters calling for a veto.

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