The Florida legislature has sent an auto insurance measure (Senate Bill 54) to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who must now decide whether to sign or veto the legislation, which would repeal the state’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance system.
The bill received widespread support by Florida lawmakers but faces scrutiny from critics including insurers who say the repeal would raise rates and lead to a higher number of uninsured drivers.
DeSantis has not indicated whether he plans to sign the legislation.
SB 54 will repeal the state’s no-fault PIP system and instead require mandatory bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 for all Florida drivers. The passed version of the bill also provides the option of a $5,000 medical payment coverage (MedPay) death benefit.
Bill sponsor Danny Burgess, a Republican, pointed to a 2016 Office of Insurance Regulation study that showed rates would decrease if PIP was repealed.
Opponents of the repeal say it would have the opposite effect.
Insurer trade group American Property Casualty Insurance Association argues the cost of an average auto insurance policy could increase by as much as 23%, or $344. Drivers with low coverage levels could see an increase as high as $805 annually.
Nearly 37,000 Floridians have sent letters to DeSantis asking him to veto the legislation, according to the APCIA.
“Floridians have been loud and clear in asking the governor to protect their wallet and their roads by vetoing this major policy change,” said Logan McFaddin, assistant vice president of state government relations for the APCIA. “Florida drivers are overwhelmingly concerned because they already pay the highest premiums in the country for full auto insurance coverage and this change could mean their costs may be driven up even higher, making coverage unaffordable for many.”
DeSantis, who received the bill June 28, has seven days to sign or veto the legislation or it becomes law without his signature.
If signed, the law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2022.
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