The Florida Senate, with the support of the Florida Justice Association (FJA), has recently passed SB 54 in a party-line vote, which would replace no-fault insurance, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), with Mandatory Bodily Injury (MBI) Insurance.
If you have questions about this shift in insurance law that affects nearly all Floridians, contact a Crestview personal injury lawyer for more information.
What is the Difference Between PIP and MBI?
The difference revolves around who is at fault. PIP pays the medical bills and rehab costs for you and your passengers if you’ve been injured in a car accident, no matter who was at fault. PIP also extends to instances when you're a passenger in someone else's car or if you're hit by a car as a pedestrian or cyclist.
MBI insurance is a type of coverage that pays for other people’s expenses resulting from injuries that you cause in an accident, including medical bills and lost wages, if you are found to be at fault.
PIP insurance is different from MBI in that PIP coverage pays for your own expenses, no matter who is at fault, but liability insurance pays for the medical expenses of drivers and passengers in other cars when you are found to be at fault for an accident.
The Consequences of Changing from PIP to MBI
The intent of PIP was to provide Floridians with faster payment of benefits for injuries after a crash. Those who support PIP cite the fact that most insurers in Florida refunded 15% to 20% refunds to policyholders last year. But some claim PIP is ineffective and should be replaced with MBI coverage.
Therefore, a few years ago, the FJA and other MBI advocates started looking to Colorado to illustrate how they believed rates would decrease if Florida switched from a PIP system to an MBI system. In circumstances similar to those in Florida, Colorado abandoned its PIP system in 2003 in favor of MBI. At first, premiums went down, which is a point the FJA has cited in committee meetings supporting the bill. Yet Colorado’s auto insurance premiums are rising quickly.
Needless to say, PIP supporters claim that Colorado’s switch has backfired. Colorado is currently third in the nation for rising car insurance premiums, and the volume of auto insurance litigation is growing, as are awards. In fact, the FJA no longer cites Colorado as evidence an MBI system would be better for Florida drivers.
Contact a Crestview Personal Injury Lawyer For More Information
Insurance, in general, can be pretty confusing, and most people don’t think about their insurance coverage before an accident, and nobody is thinking about insurance when the accident is happening. It’s after the accident when insurance comes into play, and that’s when a Crestview personal injury lawyer can help. We understand the current state of insurance law and will help you decide the best way to proceed no matter what the current insurance law says.
If you’ve suffered injuries or even the loss of a loved one as the result of an accident, contact us online today. We will help you sort through the insurance law, stand by your side, and fight for all of the compensation to which you are entitled. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis.