By Peter Schorsch for Florida Politics
As the debate over the withdrawal of Personal Injury Protection insurance in the Capitol continues, lawmakers are about to make a costly mistake, resulting in higher rates and more lawsuits, and at the expense of the state attorneys at the expense of the drivers from Florida.
The fact is, PIP withdrawal will increase insurance rates for consumers. Period of time.
Why? As car-related lawsuits will increase, the size of the rewards will increase, and because the coverage that would replace PIP will cost more. These are not speculative statements; they are the facts based on what happened in other states where PIP has been repealed.
Now, Florida insurers estimate that more than 40% of Floridians are currently purchasing less auto insurance than the new proposed minimum limits. For these Floridians, insurers estimate that premiums will increase by hundreds of dollars per year – in one estimate by $ 320 per year; another estimated increase of $ 580 a year – for a two-car, two-driver policy.
And these increases affect the most price-sensitive consumers, for whom significant premium increases mean you have to choose between the minimum limit or simply driving without insurance.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis spoke directly about the impact.
“If you go to the household budget and you say that I am going to increase your insurance rates by x amount of a state mandate, people will make choices. They won’t stop paying their property taxes because they don’t want to lose their home. But they can get naked on their car insurance, ”said Patronis.
Others share Patronis’s concerns.
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier, who directly oversees insurance matters for the state, told House members in March that such a drastic change gave him a break, saying he was “not convinced” that such a major overhaul of Florida insurance markets is a good idea.
In voicing his objection to the bill on the Senate floor, Senator Jeff Brandes paraphrased house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s infamous quote: “We must pass the bill to find out what it says.”
With PIP withdrawal, Brandes said, “In this case, we have to pass the bill to find out how much it costs. That’s no way for the Florida Senate to do business. “
Brandes then pointed out that although the bill has been around for months, the massive last-minute changes in legislation on the Senate floor made it impossible to know exactly how much Floridians would have to pay for auto insurance.
Anyone who doubts Patronis, Altmaier or Brandes need only look at Colorado.
In 2003, Colorado abolished the flawless PIP system in favor of the same type of mandatory personal injury protection that Florida lawyers insist on. Insurance rates are now rising rapidly, as are the number of uninsured drivers in Colorado.
Florida’s experience would likely reflect Colorado’s longer-term experience – with a corresponding increase in auto insurance lawsuits and the magnitude of prices likely to increase as well. Today, Colorado ranks third in the country for premium increases and is in the top 10 for total cost of auto insurance.
The bottom line: Florida’s litigation attorneys are putting their own interests ahead of Florida consumers by inviting lawmakers and Governor Ron DeSantis to become accessories in an arrangement that will hit Floridians hard in the wallets and keep them in the purse, just like in Colorado.
Peter Schorsch is the president of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s trending in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. Peter’s blog was ranked the best state blog in Florida by the Washington Post for years. In addition to his publicity efforts, Peter is a political advisor to several of the largest government affairs and public relations firms in the state. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife Michelle and their daughter Ella.