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Florida lawmakers get rid of "no fault" insurance law

By Mike Vasilinda | Posted: Thu 6:25 PM, Apr 13, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Committees of the Florida House and Senate each voted to abolish the state's no fault auto insurance law Thursday.

Car crash
The system has resulted in many fraudulent claims. Still, no one is sure if the reform will end the fraud.

Adrian Groham was t-boned by an uninsured driver with two kids in the car. She quickly exhausted the $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance that she carried.

"My daughter was airlifted and we were brought to the hospital. All that [money] was gone. There was nothing else to pay for that," Groham said.

Adrian was brought to the capitol by lawyers favoring legislation ending personal injury protection. It would be replaced with a requirement for two and a half times more bodily injury coverage.

Sponsor Erin Grall said even with more bodily injury coverage, rates should still go down.

"[I expect a] decrease of about eight percent or $81 per policy," she said.

Advocates said higher coverage limits will cause more to go without insurance.

"Who's going to get hit the hardest with having to pay for that increased BI coverage? It's going to be the people who can least afford it," Attorney Mark Cederberg said.

A skeptical Representative Jared Moskowitz voted yes, but had this surprisingly candid remark, "I just can't think of an example where government has done something with the intention of lowering insurance rates and it's had that intended purpose."

A third group said what's really needed is a deadline for insurance companies to pay claims. Legal reform groups said little will change with the bill.

William Large with the Florida Justice Reform Institute said, "You're going to have a litigation system that has a pot of silver under it be replaced by a litigation system that has a pot of gold underneath it."

A timetable would force lawyers to settle weak cases quickly lowering legal fees.