Florida's New PIP Law: Paying for Coverage but Getting Only 25% of It.

Let me give you a couple scenarios to illustrate a problem with a new law that affects everyone's insurance in Florida, and let's see how you like it. The first scenario is this. You go to the grocery store to buy a 10-pound bag of potatoes, but although you pay for the entire bag, the store gives you only one-fourth of the bag. It keeps the rest.

Here's the next scenario. You rent a vacation home in the mountains for a month, and you pay for the 4 weeks in advance. But at the end of the first week, one-fourth of the way through the deal, the landlord says with a smile, "Your time has expired; please leave now." The landlord keeps the money you paid for the other 3 weeks of the month. Are you seeing the picture in these examples, and how does it make you feel? Maybe robbed.

These are analogies for what the auto insurance industry has done to you in Florida since January 1st of this year. Your PIP insurance provides $10,000 to pay, typically, for your medical expenses after a car wreck, but it has been reduced in most cases to one-fourth of that amount. However, you still pay for the whole $10,000 the insurance companies claim you have in coverage. How, you ask, is that legal? It's legal because our inept legislators last year rewrote the PIP law to permit this conduct by insurance companies.

As elections approach, maybe you should ask whether you want the same party that controls the legislature and the executive branch in Florida to work for you for a change instead of for big business. That's up to you. My task today is only to tell you the facts. They are that on January 1st, you were deprived of $7,500 of your $10,000 of PIP coverage, the most needed coverage of all in case of a wreck, while you still pay for the whole bag of potatoes, the whole month of your vacation rental, using the analogies I gave earlier.

In the next several weeks, I'll return to this topic to give you more details. In the meantime, drive carefully. It's more important than ever.

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