On June 30, 2021, Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill that would have replaced Florida’s “no-fault” car insurance law with a fault-based model like most states across the country.
Senate Bill 54, also known as the “Motor Vehicle Insurance” bill would’ve required every vehicle owner in Florida to carry a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident, and $10,000 in property damage coverage. In addition, it would get rid of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and require insurance companies to offer up to $10,000 in medical payments coverage.
In April, state lawmakers passed the bill by an overwhelming margin in an attempt to curb Florida's ever-increasing costs of auto insurance. Since the 1970s, the state’s no-fault provision requires drivers to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage to pay for insured individual's medical and funeral costs – no matter who is liable for the car accident. However, if you are seriously injured in a crash, you may file a third-party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
In a statement, Gov. DeSantis said that while the no-fault system is flawed, he rejected SB 54 because the bill failed to properly address the current issues Florida drivers face and the potential negative impacts for consumers and the market. Insurance companies also believe the number of uninsured drivers would increase if Floridians must carry more insurance.
Insurance companies believe one in five drivers in Florida is uninsured, which is the sixth-highest rate in the United States. According to a report by the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation, the average insurance would increase to 25 percent if the bill became law.
A study by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), annual costs would increase by nearly $350 for the average motorist and more than $850 for those who only carry the minimum coverage. The organization also said that about 40 percent of Florida drivers purchase only the minimum car insurance.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Tampa Bay, do not hesitate to contact Paulsen Law Group today for a free consultation. Our legal team has more than 15 years of experience!