Auto insurance is one of the largest expenses of owning a car. In Florida, all drivers are required by law to have the minimum coverage that offers personal protection injury (PIP) and property damage liability. Drivers in Florida have a reason to smile after state officials stepped out to end the costly no-fault insurance system. After the KILL PIP bill takes effect on Jan 2018, Florida will join other 24 states that have already dropped the no-fault systems and drivers will enjoy the benefits of the reduced auto insurance rates.
PIP insurance typically covers reasonable and necessary medical procedures, operations, hospitalization, rehabilitations, or professional care. Additionally, some PIP coverage may cover lost earnings and other economic losses due to your injury, replacement or substitute services, such as household cleaning or childcare, funeral expenses, and accidental death benefits, injuries sustained as a pedestrian, or injuries from an accident in a public bus or school bus.
Supporters of the KILL PIP bill, also known as Senate Bill 156, say that they are acting due to a public outcry from drivers who say that the PIP system is expensive and unnecessary. The drivers say that they are overburdened by the hefty auto insurance policy, which requires hold $10,000 in personal injury protection even if they are not involved in a car crash. PIP insurance coverage has been required in Florida since the 1970s, and is currently required in Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Utah, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, and Puerto Rico.
The PIP rates have been increasing each year. For instance, the PIP rates in South Florida rose by 40% from what Floridians were paying in 2015.
According to actuarial reports, after the bill takes effect, drivers would save as much as $81 for each car they own. These savings would amount to up to $1 billion a year in the state of Florida. Supporters say that this bill would relieve Floridians from the massive auto insurance rates—Florida is currently in 4th position among the states with the highest vehicle insurance rates in United States.
Not all Floridians think PIP is an unnecessary expense. One public figure who feels PIP is a good policy is Gov. Rick Scott. Scott argues that instead of scrapping the whole PIP system, legislators should have considered slashing down some expenses like non-emergency benefits.
Other key figures that support Scott are many doctors, attorneys, insurance providers, and hospitals. They support the PIP system on the basis that it covers drivers against emergency medical expenses. Attorneys supports PIP on the basis that the PIP system prevents accident victims with minor injuries from filing litigation that would amount to large compensations. The PIP system protects healthcare providers from going bankrupt when treating road accident victims who lack insurance.
Drivers who are looking for additional savings can also invest in the different auto insurance cost cutters like insuring multiple cars under the same insurance provider at a discounted price. Furthermore, drivers can save more by maintaining a clean driving record.
Drivers who don’t have a clean driving record should consider taking a defensive driving course at a Florida traffic school. Auto insurance experts say that most car insurance providers give discounts to drivers who enroll in traffic schools because they drive more safely when compared to those who have not.
Some other tricks that will help you save more on insurance costs include reducing your yearly mileage, installing security features in your car, raising your deductibles, and improving your driver’s credit score.
By: Cary Teller