Make us your home page
Instagram

PIP changes might not lower insurance bills for drivers, report says

TALLAHASSEE — No-fault auto insurance premiums could indeed dip as Gov. Rick Scott and Republican lawmakers promised, a company hired to evaluate Florida's latest round of auto insurance reforms says.

But don't get too excited.

The decreases likely will come in 2013, not in October, as lawmakers had originally suggested. And the reduction may not reduce your overall car insurance bill but instead simply offset other increases.

The findings are part of a draft report detailing changes to the state's no-fault auto insurance law, called Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The report was released Friday by the state Office of Insurance Regulation as part of a Times/Herald public records request.

Generally speaking, the report — completed by Bloomington, Ill.-based Pinnacle Actuarial Resources — says the changes agreed to by legislators should reduce the amount insurance companies pay out in PIP claims.

That, in turn, could reduce PIP premiums — which comprise about 20 percent of a typical car insurance bill.

As part of the legislation, HB 119, people injured in a car accidents starting in 2013 will have only 14 days to seek initial treatment and may be eligible for just $2,500 in coverage.

Those changes could reduce claims by as much as 12 percent, the report says.

Excluding massage therapists and acupuncturists from participating in PIP — another provision in the legislation — could lead to another 10 percent reduction.

Overall, the report says, the changes could reduce the amount insurance companies pay out in PIP claims between 14 and 23 percent.

The bottom line for drivers, however, may not change that much.

In a press release accompanying the report, insurance regulation spokesman Jack McDermott cautioned reporters not to assume that a reduction in PIP claims will translate into lower auto insurance premiums.

"This projected savings may actually mitigate premium increase(s), not reduce premiums," McDermott wrote.

As part of the law, insurers must either reduce PIP premiums by 10 percent or explain why they cannot by Oct. 1.

Sen. Joe Negron, the Stuart Republican who led the charge to reform the state's no-fault auto insurance laws, says the law was written to reduce car insurance rates, not just stop increases.

"We worked closely with all the stakeholders to look at the cost-drivers, and I expect PIP rates to be significantly reduced," Negron said Friday. "… I'm going to be watching that like a hawk over the next year or two."

Tia Mitchell can be reached at [email protected] or (850) 224-7263.

PIP changes might not lower insurance bills for drivers, report says 08/03/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 3, 2012 10:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Regulator blasts Wells Fargo for deceptive auto insurance program

    Banking

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, 2017]
  2. McDonald's soft serve in Florida is made with handshakes and happy cows

    Consumer

    Floridians licked nine million McDonald's vanilla cones last year.

    Calves play with a rubber toy at the Milking R Dairy in Okeechobee, FL. Owners Sutton Rucks, Jr., and his wife Kris Rucks sell their milk to SouthEast Dairies cooperative, Edward Coryn of Dairy Mix in St. Petersburg buys it, transforms it into soft-serve ice cream base, and sells it to all the McDonald's. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  3. Hurricane Irma thrashed Tampa Bay homes sales in September

    Real Estate

    Hurricane Irma not only downed thousands of trees throughout the Tampa Bay area: It also sent home sales plunging in September.

    This home on Tampa's Davis Islands home sold in September for $5.2 million, making it the priciest sale of the month in the Tampa Bay area.
[Courtesy of Judson Brady Photography]
  4. Florida unemployment rate drops despite huge loss of jobs

    Economic Development

    Florida lost a whopping 127,400 jobs last month as Hurricane Irma swept through, according to state figures released Friday.

    Florida's unemployment rate dropped from 4 percent in August to 3.8 percent in September. Pictured is 
Shantia Blackmon (left),from St. Petersburg, talking with Jocelyn Kelley from North Carolina at a Pinellas Schools County Job Fair in June. | [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Hooper: Jean Chatzky chats about the intersection of wealth, health

    Personal Finance

    Public safety officials can readily identify a city's most dangerous intersections.

    Personal finance adviser Jean Chatzky is one of several high profile speakers on the slate for the Women's Conference of Florida in Tampa next week. [Handout photo]