PIP is now back on the blocks in the upcoming special session. PIP, otherwise known as No Fault, will sunset October 1st unless revived by new legislation. PIP is mandatory coverage that every car owner must purchase. It provides protections for negligent drivers, those who are at fault in causing a car accident. PIP shields at fault drivers from liability for intangible damages for non permanent injuries and for medical bills paid for by PIP insurance. Under new proposed legislation the PIP protections for negligent drivers would be retained and the benefits paid by PIP would be reduced. Under the new proposed scheme, medical benefits for most physician care would be limited to $5,000.00. Hospital and emergency and surgical care would remain at $10,000.00. For 80% of Floridians with health insurance this would be duplicate coverage. The issue then is why should 80% of us pay hundreds per year for duplicate coverage. Is that cost effective or is there a better solution?
According to the Tampa Tribune a better alternative to the mandatory auto accident coverage has been proposed:
Rather than patching the PIP system, lawmakers and their constituents would be better off coming up with a plan to force drivers to carry a minimal amount of medical payment coverage for themselves and other covered persons.
Sen. J.D. Alexander, for example, is proposing sensible legislation that would mandate drivers to carry ‘bodily injury’ coverage that would require an at-fault driver to pay for medical damages.
PIP has been around as mandatory car accident coverage since 1971. Florida should follow the majority of states and reject this mutated new PIP or keep the old PIP which at least gave some real benefit to consumers.
If hospitals will suffer, a small surcharge could be put on all auto policies to fund uninsured trauma care from car accidents. This could be like the Hurricane Surcharge placed on Homeowners insurance. In the end, this will save the consumer from needless duplicate expenses while protecting our trauma centers. Now if only a legislator would look outside the box to find a better solution than hurt consumers by limiting the benefits but keeping the harm from PIP.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.