Bill eliminating no-fault insurance likely dead … for this year

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Legislation moving Florida from a no-fault automobile insurance system to a mandatory bodily injury system is all but dead this legislative session, as it failed to pass its last committee reference and is unlikely to be called to the Senate floor, reports Gray Rohrer of the Florida Current.

SB 1888 would move the state from the personal injury protection (PIP) system that pays up to $10,000 in medical bills for those injured in car crashes regardless of fault and into a mandatory bodily injury that pays for medical care up to $25,000 for individuals and $50,000 for two or more people for those not at fault in an accident.

The bill did not make it onto the Senate Appropriations Committee agenda Tuesday, its last committee reference. There are no more committee meetings scheduled for the nine days left in the legislative session, and only Senate President Don Gaetz can call for a committee meeting this late in session. A spokeswoman for Gaetz said he doesn’t plan on removing the committee reference for SB 1888.

Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, and Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, pushed for the bill after Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis placed a temporary injunction on last year’s HB 119 last month. The measure capped non-emergency care for PIP claims at $2,500, required patients to seek care within 14 days, and prevented massage therapists and acupuncturists from receiving PIP claims.

Lawmakers are concerned the PIP savings under HB 119 would be nullified under the injunction. Although the Office of Insurance Regulation is appealing the injunction, Lewis vacated the stay of the injunction last week.

More from Rohrer here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.