Make us your home page
Instagram

Florida CFO Jeff Atwater tells insurers to stop whining, reduce PIP premiums

ORLANDO — Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said Thursday that it's time for insurance companies to stop complaining and to lower premiums to reflect changes to the no-fault car insurance laws.

"I am comfortable that if assaults on the courts are unsuccessful and the bill can stand, there will be more than 25 percent savings," Atwater said. "We don't have to gnash about it, argue about it, whine about it or cry about it."

Under the old system, the average personal injury protection insurance claim is $12,900, Atwater said during a presentation at the Florida Chamber of Commerce's Annual Insurance Summit. That included $4,400 in acupuncture, $3,700 for massage therapy, $3,200 to chiropractors and $1,600 for emergency room costs.

The new law, HB 119, restricts acupuncturists and massage therapists from participating in PIP and requires people injured in a car accident to be diagnosed with an emergency medical condition before they are eligible for the full $10,000 benefit.

"We just eliminated 68 percent of that cost," Atwater told the group.

In order to get a bill passed on the last day of the session, legislators agreed to insert some cost protections. Insurance companies were required to submit new rate filings by Oct. 1 that either reduced PIP premiums by 10 percent or explain why they cannot. They are also expected to lower PIP by 25 percent by 2014.

So far, the actual numbers from insurance companies are falling short of that initial goal.

Of the 44 rate filings that have been approved by the state's Office of Insurance Regulation by mid-month, the average PIP savings is 2.5 percent. That reflects about a fourth of the 141 filings from companies selling all types of car insurance, with the rest still under review.

The numbers that insurers submitted vary wildly, said Sandra Starnes, the OIR's director of property and casualty product review, during a separate presentation at the Insurance Summit. Some companies said they will reduce PIP by as much as 25 percent, while the biggest requested increase is 41 percent.

Although the 2.5 percent average is less than the Legislature's target, it should be applauded, Starnes said.

"The straight average was provided to show that while the range of rate changes being approved varies significantly from company to company, the majority of the filings are resulting in overall statewide decreases in PIP premiums and all of the companies are recognizing the significant decreases in losses that are expected due to HB 119," she later added via email.

Atwater told conference attendees that they shouldn't have been taken by surprise that lawmakers built some cost-saving guarantees into the PIP law.

"After all the failures in the past, I think somebody would have to really be just a little naive to not think that the Legislature would want to put some aspirational numbers out there," he said.

Tia Mitchell can be reached at tmitchell@tampabay.com or (850) 224-7263.

Florida CFO Jeff Atwater tells insurers to stop whining, reduce PIP premiums 11/29/12 [Last modified: Thursday, November 29, 2012 8:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Closing Iron Yard coding school hits area tech hard but leaders talk of options

    Business

    The coming shutdown this fall of the Iron Yard software coding school in downtown St. Petersburg — announced this month as part of a national closing of all 15 Iron Yard locations — remains a shocking event to a Tampa Bay technology community that dreams big of becoming a major player in the Southeast if not …

    In better days last fall, friends and family of graduates at The Iron Yard, based in the Station House in downtown St. Petersburg, applaud during "Demo Day" when grads of the coding school show off their skills. Despite the local success and strong job placement by the coding school, The Iron Yard is closing all of its 15 locations across the country this summer. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. U.S. economy gathers steam in second quarter

    Business

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy revved up this spring after a weak start to the year, fueled by strong consumer spending. But the growth spurt still fell short of the optimistic goals President Donald Trump hopes to achieve through tax cuts and regulatory relief.

    A government report released Friday showed economic output picked up in the second quarter. 
[Associated Press file photo]
  3. Founder of Tampa home sharing platform questions Airbnb, NAACP partnership

    Business

    TAMPA — A Tampa rival to Airbnb, which was launched because of discrimination complaints on the dominant home sharing platform, has concerns about the new partnership between Airbnb and NAACP announced this week.

    Rohan Gilkes poses for a portrait at his home and business headquarters in Tampa. 

Innclusive, a Tampa-based start-up, is a home-sharing platform that focuses on providing a positive traveling experience for minorities. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  4. Appointments at Port Tampa Bay and Tampa General Medical Group highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Government

    Port Tampa Bay announced that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. Sowell, a former member of the U.S.Marine Corps, will support internal, external and special projects, assist the executive team with management oversight and serve as a liaison on a variety of port …

    Port Tampa Bay announced this week that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. [Handout photo]
  5. Drones restrictions coming at Tampa Bay area airports

    Airlines

    Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, according to a press release.

    In this February 2017 file photo, a drone flies in Hanworth Park in west London. Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems,
[John Stillwell/PA via AP, File]