18 May 2021
Is Florida going to repeal the no-fault law? What does this mean for Tampa Bay drivers?
Posted By Darrigo & Diaz
The largest changes to Florida’s automobile insurance laws in nearly 50 years could be on the horizon. Senate Bill 54 proposes to end the state’s no-fault insurance system and would eliminate the requirement that motorists carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and replace it with a requirement that they have bodily injury coverage.
Nearly every driver in Florida could have a new insurance policy by January 1, 2022 if the bill passes.
While Senate Bill 54 is heading to Governor DeSantis’ desk to either be signed into law or vetoed, there are factors that Tampa Bay drivers should consider. Below, we go over the pros and cons of Senate Bill 54 and what you can expect if this new bill is passed.
What is Senate Bill 54?
Senate Bill 54 is a new bill that will repeal Florida’s no-fault auto personal injury protection (PIP) system and instead require mandatory bodily injury coverage starting at $25,000 for all drivers in the state of Florida.
Currently, Florida requires all drivers to have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP insurance. This is because Florida is a no-fault state, meaning in the event of a car accident, if you are injured, you file a claim with your own insurance regardless of who is at fault or caused the accident. If your medical bills exceed your PIP coverage, then you can file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance to seek compensation.
If Florida passes Senate Bill 54, car accident liability will change. Under the new law, if you are injured in a car accident, the at-fault party and/or his or her insurance company will be held financially responsible for damages and expenses.
What is the status of Senate Bill 54?
As of May 2021, both the Senate and the House have approved the bill. Governor DeSantis holds the final say and can either approve or reject the bill when it comes to his desk. If signed by DeSantis, the law could take effect July 1, 2021.
What are the advantages of repealing Florida’s no-fault law?
If Senate Bill 54 passes and Florida’s no-fault law is repealed, there are some benefits for Tampa Bay drivers:
• In the event of an accident, the at-fault party would be held accountable for their actions. This change in liability is especially significant for accidents caused by drunk drivers or reckless behavior.
• You could potentially be able to include more damages as part of your insurance claim. Right now, PIP insurance does not cover pain and suffering. Under Senate Bill 54, you could seek compensation for those losses.
• You could potentially be able to recover more compensation than the minimum required insurance standards that are in place. Senate Bill 54 opens the door to larger claims.
What are the disadvantages of repealing Florida’s no-fault law?
There are always two sides to every coin. While repealing Florida’s no-fault law offers several pros, there are also several cons.
• Insurance providers may intentionally delay the processing and settlement of insurance claims to avoid having to pay large sums. However, an experienced Tampa Bay car accident attorney would be able to put a stop to this.
• It is not always easy to determine who is at fault in an accident. Sometimes, both parties are partially responsible. Under Senate Bill 54, insurance claims and lawsuits may become more complicated. We expect to see more cases going to trial under Senate Bill 45.
• If you are injured in a car accident that is not your fault and have to file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company, they may be less inclined to treat you fairly. After all, you don’t pay premiums to them and insurance companies are only concerned with protecting their bottom line. That’s why having an experienced Tampa Bay car accident attorney who can take on big insurance companies will become even more important.
How will repealing Florida’s no-fault law affect uninsured motorists?
With the elimination of Florida’s no-fault law, uninsured motorists will become an even bigger issue. Today, about 1 out of every 5 motorists in Florida do not have car insurance.
Now, under Florida’s no-fault law, if you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist, you are able to file a claim with your own insurance company and still obtain compensation.
But, if Senate Bill 54 passes and you are hit by an uninsured motorist, your options for financial recovery could be limited. You could even have to pay out of pocket for your medical bills.
This is why it is extremely important to have uninsured motorist coverage in your auto insurance policy.
Stay up-to-date with the latest changes to Florida’s no-fault law
Major changes could be coming to Florida’s no-fault law.
You can check the status of the bill by visiting the Florida Senate’s website, or you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram to receive the latest updates about Senate Bill 54 and how it will directly affect Tampa Bay drivers.
Contact a Tampa Bay car accident attorney to learn more
Darrigo and Diaz is here to serve Tampa Bay residents
The highly experienced and skilled Tampa Bay car accident attorneys at Darrigo & Diaz are available to answer any questions you may have about Senate Bill 54 and changes to your auto insurance policies.
Our Tampa Bay car accident attorneys can review your claim, inform you of your options, and help you with any insurance or legal claims you may have.
For over two decades, Darrigo & Diaz has helped thousands of accident victims and their families in the greater Tampa Bay community. Led by Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney Nadine Diaz, our experienced Tampa Bay car accident attorneys provide trusted, personalized legal guidance, designed to get you results. We are an esteemed member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, and we have over 250 5-Star Google Reviews attesting to our ability to meet and exceed client expectations.
Call 813-774-3341 for a free consultation
We offer FREE, no-obligation consultations, and you do not have to pay for anything unless we secure a financial settlement for you. Learn more about our services by calling our Tampa Bay car accident attorneys today at 813-774-3341.