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PIP Repeal Resurfaces for 2020 Session

PIP Repeal Resurfaces for 2020 Session

Repealing Florida’s no-fault (PIP) auto insurance system again will command legislative attention in the 2020 legislative session.  Although 2020 once seemed so far away, the legislature already is having committee meetings in anticipation of the session’s January start.

Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) system has drawn significant criticism in recent years.  The legislature has tried to curb abuses by tightening procedures related to services most frequently subject to fraud.  Still, legal challenges and continuing concerns about the PIP system’s low benefits in relation to costs prompt questions about whether it’s time to scrap the system altogether.

PIP repeal proposals have failed in recent sessions, largely because the legislature hasn’t been able to agree on a suitable replacement.  Many constituencies are involved, including consumers, insurers, hospitals and medical providers, attorneys and others.  Finding an alternative that balances the relative interests has proven too hard to accomplish.  One definition of a “compromise” is a solution that leaves all parties equally unhappy.  Thus far, one party or another’s disproportionate unhappiness has caused prior attempts to stall.

This year, the legislature will consider SB 378 among other potential proposals.  SB 378 would eliminate the no-fault system with a mandatory liability insurance approach (for both bodily injury and property damage).  It’s too early to tell whether the PIP repeal will gather more momentum in 2020, but recent history shows it will be a difficult battle.