There is currently a bill in the Florida House, HB 719, that would eliminate no-fault and its requirement that motorists carry personal-injury protection, or PIP, coverage, and mandate bodily injury coverage. If passed, the bill would eliminate the requirement of having 10,000 dollars in PIP coverage and set minimum bodily injury coverage at $25,000 for the injury or death of one person and $50,000 for injuries or deaths of two or more people. The bill would also require auto insurers to provide an offer of at least $5,000 in what is known as medical payments coverage; however, motorists would not have to buy it. However, there is a concern, namely from insurance providers, that this new bill could lead to an increase in lawsuits and an increase in health and automobile insurance.
In February, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a similar bill, SB54. This bill aims to eliminate PIP, raise required coverage limits on policies, offer lower limits for students and low-income drivers, and more difficult for people to sue insurance companies for bad faith. This bill would also get rid of the current limit a plaintiff can seek for compensation due to pain and suffering under PIP and allow liability for uninsured motorists to include pain and suffering and other injuries.
The most notable difference between SB54 and HB719 is that the Senate bill’s bad faith clause. Under this premise, the plaintiff would have to prove that the insurance provider failed to act in good faith to the plaintiff and failed to settle a claim to pursue a bad-faith lawsuit. This clause aims to ensure that insurance providers are working in the best interest of their clients. However, some are opposed as they think it will hurt small businesses by leaving them open to liability due to excess judgments.
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