Is PIP Repeal Dead?
Observers of Florida’s personal auto market are well aware of the legislative debates in recent years over the future of Florida’s no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance laws. Proponents of PIP have pointed to it as a relatively fast, no-fault basis of ensure basic coverage amounts are in place for injuries arising from auto accidents. This is particularly important to some hospitals and other medical providers. PIP’s opponents counter that it has become riddled with fraud and abuse, and most states have abandoned it.
PIP repeal seemed unattainable a few years ago. However, in the 2021 legislative session, the legislature passed a bill (SB 54) repealing PIP. However, Governor DeSantis vetoed the bill, leaving current no-fault system intact. Among the primary reasons for the veto, the Governor was concerned the bill replacing PIP with mandatory bodily injury requirements would increase premiums for many drivers who currently carry low limits, and potentially could increase the number of uninsured drivers. At the time, the Office of Insurance Regulation had released an analysis showing auto insurance premiums could increase by up to 13.3% for Florida drivers.
Despite the veto and potential concerns with a bill that could increase premiums heading into the 2022 election cycle, some legislative leaders have expressed a willingness to consider auto insurance reform again. A recent article in Florida Politics points to a recent decision by House Speaker Chris Sprowls to name Representative Erin Grall as chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Representative Grall was a primary sponsor of last year’s PIP repeal bill. Nonetheless, Speaker Sprowls has said revisiting PIP repeal is “not something that’s been at the top of the list based on everything else that’s been going on.” Still, some observers have noted rumors have started to pick up regarding another possible effort at PIP repeal.
PIP repeal bills consume substantial time in the legislative process. The first step in assessing whether the commitment would be worthwhile in the 2022 session is to determine whether the concerns leading to the Governor’s veto can be alleviated in a new bill.