On November 7, Florida took a major step that would bring it into line with 48 other states. On that date, the Florida House of Representatives Commerce Committee approved legislation requiring drivers in the Sunshine State to carry bodily injury (B.I.) liability insurance. We applaud the legislature finally making this move to protect Florida's citizenry. We believe this legislation will protect citizens injured in an auto accident in Fort Lauderale or anywhere else in Florida.
Inexplicably, as it stands right now, Florida law only requires car owners to carry $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability. This amount of coverage is clearly insufficient for thousands of Florida drivers, yet many motorists with this insufficient insurance coverage still operate their vehicle under the illusion they are "fully covered". Under a bill proposed by Rep Erin Grall entitled the "Responsible Roadways Act" (HB 19) would repeal Florida's bare-bones PIP system and replace it with a more robust requirement mandating that Florida drivers carry a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person and $50,000 per incident.
This proposed change would increase greatly the number of responsibly and adequately covered drivers on Florida's roads. Florida motorists will also save money on their liability insurance in the long run as a result. According to House Staff, an analysis of the proposed legislation was conducted that found the repeal of no-fault insurance in Florida will result in an estimated 9.6% overall reduction on the liability coverage package or $81 per year for the average driver.
So what's next? The proposed legislation now goes to the House floor for consideration. The Senate companion bill (SB 150) sponsored by Sen. Tom Lee has yet to be scheduled for a hearing. Stay tuned to this blog for more details.
Joseph Bosco is a Personal Injury Attorney practicing primarily in South Florida's east coast tri-county area. If you have been injured in an auto accident in South Florida or anywhere in the Sunshine State, give our lawyers a call today, or learn more about us by visiting our website: www.jboscolaw.com. We are always in your corner!