March 27, 2017
Michael Moline, Florida Politics
A House committee voted overwhelmingly Monday to do away with personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance in Florida.
The vote in the Insurance & Banking Subcommittee was 12-2, with Jay Fant and Blaise Ingoglia the holdouts.
PCS/HB 1063 passed despite concerns by insurers that they need stronger protections against bad-faith lawsuits by people injured by their policyholders.
Medical providers, meanwhile, argued that requiring accident victims to file lawsuits would make it harder for them to get paid.
Michael Grant, a Republican from Port Charlotte, summed up the mood among many committee members.
“This isn’t a perfect bill,” he said. “But I can’t continue to vote for or sustain a PIP environment that is just completely broken.”
Vero Beach Republican Erin Grall, shepherding the measure, said rates are 9 percent higher now than they were after the last time the Legislature reformed PIP, in 2012. The reason, she said, is that people keep gaming the system.
“As we try and reform it and try and fix it, it just gets tweaked in a different way,” Grall said.
“So the value of this insurance has gone down with each reform. And the goal of the bill is to put meaningful insurance in place and bring accountability to the system — and put responsibility where it lies, and that’s with the at-fault driver.”