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State Consumer Advocate says no fault auto insurance riddled with fraud

By James Call

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-992037.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Florida's insurance consumer advocate says it may be time to do away with no fault auto insurance. James Call reports, Robin Westcott told the Governor and Cabinet Tuesday the system is increasingly wrought with fraud.

Under no fault, Motorists are required to have personal injury protection, or PIP, to cover injuries. Analysts cite a growing number of staged accidents for making no-fault a money loser for companies. One insurer has increased premiums 600 percent in three years. A state panel on fraud recently completed its work without offering a solution. Westcott says if the state can't fix PIP then it should end no fault coverage.

"Perhaps this coverage should not be mandated. Perhaps we should move to a tort system with perhaps med pay or bodily injury coverage or something else."

Florida consumers are paying nearly $1 billion a year for personal injury protection insurance. If nothing changes, premiums are expected to increase 10 to 25 percent over the next two years.