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PIP Rates Increase, Despite Reform

Could you be affected by the PIP rate increases in 2013? That will be the reality for many insured drivers in Florida. After reviewing the first round of filings submitted by insurers to the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation it appears most are increasing their PIP rates, despite the new legislation pushed by Gov. Rick Scott this spring.

At least half of the first half-dozen filings approved by Florida regulators show an increase in PIP rates up to 26.3 percent. Not the anticipated result of the Governor’s legislation, which was supposed to lower auto insurance rates after sharp reductions in personal injury protection benefits. Some did see this coming however, such as Bill Newton, executive director of the Florida Consumer Action Network, who says, “We told you so.” He states, “Bottom line, consumers have lost benefits and many will see premium increases, not decreases.”

Proponents of Gov. Scott’s legislation claimed it would lower costs for drivers by cracking down on up to $1 billion in fraud. But critics including Newton said the law was just a favor for insurers, who will still collect premiums for a state mandated $10,000 PIP coverage, but must pay fewer benefits. The law eliminates massage and acupuncture and limits non-emergency care to $2,500.

Those with approved PIP increases include Florida Farm Bureau (8 percent), MGA Insurance (3.9 percent), and Agency Insurance (26.3 percent).

Those with decreases include United Fire and Casualty (15.2 percent), Hartfod Insurance of the Midwest (15.2 percent for AARP renewals only), and Philadelphia Indemnity (10 percent for collector vehicles).

Given the upcoming PIP changes, it’s important that every Florida driver review their policies to see how they will be affected. If you or someone you know is injured in an accident you’ll want to have the most up-to-date information regarding the limits of your insurance coverage before you need treatment. Please contact us at the Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb if you have questions about what to do after an automobile accident.

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