During the 2012 Florida Legislative Session, insurance company lobbyists pushed for the passage of HB 119, which greatly overhauled the Personal Injury Protection portion of your automobile insurance policy. As part of their sales pitch, proponents of this bill stated that the passage of this Bill would GREATLY REDUCE the cost of automobile insurance in the State of Florida and cut down on “fraud”.
As we learned years ago, “cutting down on fraud” is just another way of saying “severely reducing a policyholder’s chance of ever getting paid on his claim.” But what about the claimed reduction in the cost of auto insurance premiums? Surely insurance companies have lowered their automobile insurance rates in exchange for HB 119’s severe limitation of the rights of policy holders…..right?
Well, the Office of Insurance Regulation announced this week that the cost of Personal Injury Protection coverage is expected to drop an average of 13.2 percent in Florida. Great you say!!! But then the fine print – since this “no fault”/ Personal Injury Protection coverage accounts for such a small percentage of your overall automobile coverage, the overall decrease in your overall policy would be about 1.2 percent!! Not a very good reduction in exchange for the severe limitations this new law places on the rights of policy holders.
Once again, it appears Florida’s elected officials have fallen for the insurance companies’ old yarn of “Allow us to restrict coverage today, and we promise to reduce premiums…..tomorrow….maybe.”