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Controversial bill to abolish no-fault auto insurance may mean higher premiums for Florida drivers

Critics of SB 54 say drivers will pay $344 more on average
Posted at 7:24 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 09:55:18-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Critics of SB 54 say drivers will pay $344 more on average

Senate Bill 54 gets rid of no-fault or personal injury protection insurance, commonly called PIP.

Instead of paying PIP premiums, drivers would be required to buy bodily injury insurance coverage. And the insurance company for the driver who is at fault in an auto crash would have to pay out up to $25,000 for any injuries.

The American Property Casualty Association estimates the bill will cost the average driver $344.

Republican State Senator Jeff Brandes was among those who voted against the bill. Senator Brandes said during senate hearings, lower-income drivers would be hit the hardest and pay as much as 40 percent more in premium costs.

Florida is among the top 10 states when it comes to uninsured drivers, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Critics say SB 54 will only compound the problem.

But proponents, including Florida's Consumer Action Network, are urging the governor to sign the bill into law saying it would cut down on litigation.

"FCAN believes this PIP repeal bill will reduce fraud by eliminating the PIP system, but there are still major fraud problems to be solved," the consumer watchdog group wrote in a statement released Friday.

FCAN points to a five-year-old report from Florida insurance regulators saying the repeal of PIP would amount to less than a six percent increase in premiums.

The governor has not said what he will do regarding SB 54 but he is expected to sign it into law.