Reducing the insurance premium rates in Florida state


shutterstock_45985540Florida State’s no-fault auto insurance laws are under scrutiny by the industry groups in Florida, because of the rising auto insurance premiums in the state. This rise is being attributed to the increasing insurance scams or the staged accidents by which the scam artists are collecting the claims they do not deserve. Most staged accidents were recorded in Florida in the recent years according to the records of National Insurance Crime bureau. Insurance Fraud division has made 49 arrests related to the personal injury protection frauds this year, according to the Alexis Lambert, department’s spokeswoman.

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida together are recommending some reformations in the laws in the legislation to strengthen the fraud investigation which keeps such scams in check. 

However, Executive Director of Florida Consumer Action Network, Bill Newton is of the opinion that some of the recommendations made can affect the consumers. Bill Newton, executive director of the Florida Consumer Action Network, said his group supports proposals to reduce fraud but some of the ideas suggested could hurt consumers. Some lawyers, health care providers and other opponents say that the recommendations if implemented could make the hospitals to either absorb part of the medical bill or deny the treatment. Ed Domansky, spokesman of Hollywood rehabilitation Center wrote that the insurance companies will come out to be the only winners if the PIP coverage was cancelled or modified. 

William Stander, director of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America said that the PIP law is not going to be totally cancelled, but his group makes the following recommendations regarding the changed to the PIP coverage requirements:

  • Setting an upper limit to Attorney’s fees which are allowed in the PIP lawsuits. However, Bill Newton is of the opinion that the consumers should be able to pay their attorney when their fees can practically be unlimited. 
  • Giving the right of interviewing the Policyholders under oath to the insurers. Bill Newton sees a potential problem since attorneys would want to be able to videotape the interviews but insurers will be against it.
  • Making it mandatory for policy holders to appear for insurer’s medical exam to determine the injuries and treatment required.
  • Providing arbitration as an alternative to resolve insurance claim disputes without the involvement of court. 

Another idea that could work according to Bill Newton would be to provide discounts to policyholders who agree to use only specified health care providers. Also, recommendation to provide the list of all passengers in the car at the time of accident to avoid the misuse of claim by others is supported by Bill Newton’s Group.