Auto Insurance

Governor Vetoes PIP Bill

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed a measure intended to replace car insurance injury protection (PIP) coverage with bodily injury coverage limits and a requirement that insurers offer medical payments coverage.

“Florida is probably the two states that does not require bodily injury coverage,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Insurance.

Measure SB 54 sought to end the necessity that Florida drivers purchase $10,000 in personal protection coverage and would instead require mandatory bodily injury coverage that will shell out up to $25,000 for any crash related injury or death. The passed version of the balance also provided the option of a $5,000 medical payment coverage (MedPay) death benefit.

In instructions dated June 29, 2021 and time stamped 9:12 pm, Governor DeSantis wrote, “While the PIP system has its own flaws, and Florida law regarding bad faith is deficient, -SB 54 does not adequately address the present issues facing Florida drivers and could have unintended consequences that will negatively impact both the market and consumers.”

Those critical of the bill argued it would increase rates for Floridians. Insurance Journal reports, “Insurer trade group American Property Casualty Insurance Association argued the cost of an average auto insurance policy could increase by as much as 23%, or $344. Drivers with low coverage levels often see an increase as high as $805 annually.” An additional concern from opponents was the result of an increased quantity of uninsured drivers on the road.

“Governor DeSantis' veto will need lawmakers to return to square one when they wish to revise Florida's car insurance laws, says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Insurance.

Widespread support from the bill from Florida lawmakers, argued that a majority of motorists, who already carry bodily injury coverage, would see rate savings. Proponents also argued that rates would go down because the change would reduce fraud that has long plagued the PIP system.