Florida drivers could see a drop of up to 25 percent off their personal injury protection, or PIP insurance, rates, following reforms enacted earlier this year. That’s according to a report released on Tuesday. But, insurance regulators are cautioning that other factors could reduce the expected savings.
The report, commissioned by the Florida Legislature, shows the law should reduce personal injury claims by about 25 percent. That’s largely due to a new definition of emergency injury and a prohibition on covering massage and acupuncture. Monte Stevens, of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, explains:
“There were large numbers of incidents of one automobile accident leading to 60, 70, 80 billable techniques used by massage therapists," he says.
Stevens says, even though the cost for insurance companies should go down, the new law doesn’t require them to reduce PIP premiums, but only to show why they can’t. And, PIP makes up only a small piece of the total bill, so any savings could still be offset by increases in other types of coverage. Plus, he says, several provisions of the law are being challenged in court and could be thrown out altogether.
If the law stays intact and private auto insurance companies see the reduction in claims as being a good reason to reduce PIP premiums, the earliest policy holders could see the reductions in their bills would be after Jan. 1, 2013.