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PIP politics: Group upset with state agency head

Floridians for Lower Insurance Costs, a coalition of groups pushing to end Florida's no-fault insurance law, aren't too happy with Electra Bustle, the head of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Prodded by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Bustle explained at today's Cabinet meeting why the end of no-fault, and the requirement that motorists have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) would be a problem.

Bustle said that highway patrol troopers would have to spend more time sorting out who's at fault in auto accidents and she agreed with statements by Sink that more Floridians would probably opt to drive without any form of insurance. Bustle's agency has already opined that there will be nothing to prevent motorists from going bare _ a position disputed by insurers such as State Farm.

The coalition called the statements "surprising and puzzling" and suggested that Bustle's concerns were "unfounded." (See full statement in comments)

It appears, however, that Crist and other Cabinet members agreed something needs to be done to preserve some type of no-fault. Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson even disputed that savings would be passed on to motorists. "There's no free lunch,'' he said. Crist said that he talked to Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff on Monday and that a compromise may soon be unveiled.

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Gary Fineout

Coalition statement:

For too many years, Florida drivers have been forced to pay for a corrupt system riddled with fraud and abuse. In just a few short weeks though, Florida will join 38 others who do not have the financial burden of personal injury protection (PIP). For a two-car family in Florida that means an average annual savings of $360. This is good financial news for consumers who are facing increases in so many other areas of their budget – from the cost of gasoline, to property tax increases and the rising cost of inflation.

“Claims by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) Director Electra Bustle during today’s Cabinet meeting about the impacts of the elimination of Florida’s broken no-fault system were both surprising and puzzling.

“The sunset of Florida’s no-fault law has been on the books since 2003. Surprisingly, DHSMV has waited until now -- four years later and only nine weeks prior to this corrupt system’s demise to raise concerns. None of these concerns were raised by DHSMV during the numerous legislative hearings and workshops examining the impacts of the no-fault sunset.

“Now is not the time to intentionally and selfishly create confusion about the state’s insurance requirements, particularly when lawmakers and state agency officials have been well aware of the potential elimination of PIP for the past four years.

“It’s unfortunate the state agency charged with ensuring the safety of Florida’s roadways seems to be more concerned with their own bottom line – preserving $26 million in revenue collected from reinstatement fees for drivers who drop their PIP coverage -- than enforcing the minimum levels of insurance that will still be required under Florida’s insurance laws.

“This is evidenced by the otherwise unsupported allegation that four million uninsured drivers will magically appear on Florida’s roadways after October 1. The claim is a false, self-fulfilling prophecy based on the agency’s own reluctance to enforce the state’s existing insurance requirements after October 1. Imagine if, Florida’s state troopers warned they were going to stop enforcing the speed limit but officials claimed no responsibility for the increased number of speeders or decreased safety of Florida’s roadways.

“Concerns expressed by the director about increased red tape or confusion by law enforcement officials who respond to the scene of an accident are unfounded. The role of law enforcement after no-fault is eliminated will not change. Their responsibility will remain exactly the same as it has always been, to respond to an accident and determine if someone violated the law.

“Florida drivers are still required to carry property damage liability coverage and comply with the state’s financial responsibility law. It is the DHSMV’s responsibility to ensure those laws are enforced and with the prospect of eliminating no-fault planned for four years, they’ve had ample time to prepare for the change.

“The fact is, the elimination of no-fault will have impacts: Florida taxpayers will begin saving on their auto insurance, the opportunity for fraud and abuse of our state’s auto insurance system will be reduced. That’s good for taxpayers who could use a little bit of good news.”

Oh! Have mercy on me. It is all coming to light. The continuous shilling on behalf of the Big Insurance companies is being exposed for what it is.

Rep. Bogdanoff, get it together. Do not carry the water for Big Insurance because at the end of the day you will be the one wondering what happened to the support and the votes.

E Styles

Floridians for Lower Insurance is really just State Farm, Allstate, United Automobile Insurance Company, and other insurnce companies. They are all scam artists. State Farm promises rate reductions and then drop 50,000 coastal policy holders. They are already sending renewals increasing non-statutory PIP by 40%. Rates will rise and State Farm is playing the citizens for suckers with an assist from a few legislators. Hopefully, the Governer will not allow this deception to succeed.

Is it true that State Farm sent out notices this week whereby they informed their insureds that voluntary PIP would be priced at a higher rate than it is now in its present form.

Folks, Floridians for Lower Insurance Costs ("FLIC") wants to get over on the people of the Great State of Florida because they think that everyone is asleep or dumb. That is not going to happen this time.

The internet, online newspapers, blogs, and e-mail is giving the secretive Big Money interests a run for their money. Now that is Democracy.

This Republican will vote for Charlie Crist any day of the week.

He is Great Governor that is doing his job fair and square and doing what is right for the people of the State of Florida and not just for a few wealthy insurance Robber Barons.

Shame on you Rep. Bogdanoff.

Shame on you Rep. Rivera.

Shame on you Rep. Rubio (Speaker of the House)

for allowing yourselves to be overwhelmed by Big Corporate pressure into neglecting the common man in the State of Florida.

FLIC really has some gall to go after Electra Bustle, the head of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).

Why doesn't FLIC talk about how the Personal Injury Protection ("PIP") otherwise known as "no-fault insurance" was trotted out by Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff in the House Rules and Calendar Council and never brought before Insurance Committee in the Florida House of Representatives. Very sneaky indeed. The only problem is in this day and age the internet allows for full coverage the people's work and it was displayed for all to see.

What was even more sinister was Rep. Bogdanoff's remark that medicaid should pay for folks involved in motor vehicle accidents. That means that a Republican was advocating that the government should pick up the tab for injuries sustained in automobile accidents instead letting private enterprise provide that care through PIP Insurance.

That was outrageous in and of itself but the real doozy was the outrage that House Speaker Marco Rubio let fly as the Speaker of the House whereby he refused to let the Senate version of PIP be heard on the House Floor and let the clock run out on PIP.

Wow. And now FLIC, that mighty group of Robber Barons sits back and bad mouths the head of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for telling the truth when the whole time they orchestrated their minions, I mean lobbied their politicos, to take it to the people of the State of Florida.


To top that off h

JOE D

ATTENTION ALL FLORIDIANS IF NO FAULT SUNSETS(& ALL MANDATORY INSURANCE WITH IT) WE WILL SAVE NOTHING & WILL WIND UP SPENDING MORE
(1) OUR BI & U/M RATES WILL INCREASE- NOT EVEN STATEFARM CAN DENY THIS
(2) COLLISION COVERAGE WILL DOUBLE OR MAYBE EVEN TRIPLE AS WHEN AN UNINSURED PERSON HITS YOU YOUR COMPANY WILL HAVE NO ONE TO SUBRO AGAINST THEREFORE THEY WILL HAVE TO RECOUP THIS LOSS IN MONEY & GUESS WHAT THEY WILL HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO INCREASE RATES
(3) SINCE YOU HAVE TO GO THRU YOUR OWN COLLISON COVERAGE YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY OUT OF POCKET, YOUR $500 DEDUCTIBLE-OOPS THEY FORGOT TO MENTION THAT ONE
(4) OUR TAXES WILL INCREASE TO COVER ALL THE UNINSUREDS HOSPITAL BILLS
(5) OUR HEALTH INSURANCE WILL INCREASE AS IT PAYS FOR BILLS PREVIOUSLY PAID FOR BY PIP-BLUE CROSS CONFIRMED THIS
I'M NOT A MATH MAJOR BUT THAT LOOKS TO ADD UP TO ALOT MORE THAN THE $360 STATEFARM SAYS WE WILL SAVE

P.S I HAVE A NEW TOURISM SLOGAN "COME TO FLORIDA WHERE THE UNINSURED LEARN TO DRIVE"

Can someone get Cristian Chiari off the blogs and back to his room at dad's house.

keith

state scam drops 50,000 honmeowners policies & now wants to save us money on auto insurance!!! hahahahahahahahhahahaha
oh yeah & oj simpson didn't do it

barry

If jose & jesus are driving around & do not have to have mandatory auto insurance, I'm getting out of this state or buying a helicopter!!!

bryan

I like Ellyn & think she's sexy, but we still need No-Fault & mandatory Insurance.

jerry k

the governor should let citizens insure the whole state not just the high risk property. this will decrease the risk to citizens and lower the price for everyone. secondly, we should throw state farm out of Florida they are a corrupt influence in politics. lastly the FDLE should arrest the principals of united auto insurance for denying 95% of their claims. that will put the fear of god in all the other carriers. all the money that floridians for lower insurance rates(aka state farm ) put in to advertising and buying politicans should be exposed

jerry k

the governor should let citizens insure the whole state not just the high risk property. this will decrease the risk to citizens and lower the price for everyone. secondly, we should throw state farm out of Florida they are a corrupt influence in politics. lastly the FDLE should arrest the principals of united auto insurance for denying 95% of their claims. that will put the fear of god in all the other carriers. all the money that floridians for lower insurance rates(aka state farm ) put in to advertising and buying politicans should be exposed

Floridian for less insurance welfare

The folks seem to have it pegged. FLIR is nothing but State Farm employees with a day off - go to any one of their "rally's". Sure, if you get rid of PIP there may be a few bucks saved off insurance premiums - I pay $39 per 6 months for each of my 2 cars, but the flip side is not benefits when there is an accident.

The carriers would love to sell you more expensive BI, UM aand especially ersatz MedPay that isn't as good as PIP. They also don't want to let people who are hurt have access to real doctors after an accident.

After all, those doctors might find out what's really wrong with an injured person, thereby allowing them to actually get a fair shake in their BI case. That's the real dirty secret of PIP. It's not that the carriers don't make money on it, it's that they are actually having to pay pay fair compensation under the policies they have issued to injured people.

They would much rather people have no coverage or maybe an HMO or chiropractor, instead of proper treatment, a medically necessary MRI and properly documented injuries.

When FLIR speaks, think State Farm and cronies say...And the previous writer is absolutely correct, why is the speaker of our house not even letting to the floor a bill that affects each and every Floridian - the PIP bill, because it doesn't suit his taste and that of his supporters from the insurance industry. I agree Ellyn Bogdonoff is a nice looking woman - but we need more guts and substance and less flash in our House of Representatives. They do represent the people, don't they. The system isn't "broken" as the carriers all agreed to say last summer at every opportunity, nor is fraud "rampant" outside of South Florida, primarily in non-doctor owned clinics. Attorneys aren't running rampant, the State Dept of Ins says PIP litigation is down 2/3 since 2003's "reforms". All these "issues" lend themselves to easy, obvious statutory fixes. Throwing out the whole system to go back to the chaos of a lawsuit for every fender-bender is an insurance company dream - unlimited premium hikes and interminable delays for pittance payouts to desperate injured peole who have no medical coverage and no lost wage coverage without PIP and therefore must settle for whatever crumbs the insurance companies throuw their way when they get desperate enough.

This is nothing but a blatant grab for cash by the same insurance companies who have been shafting the victims of Katrina, shafting Florida homeowners, and now want to shaft Florida drivers, and with them, hospitals, doctors, injured pedestrians, employers who will face higher health insurance premiums and ultimatly, the taxpayers, who will have to pick up the uncovered emergency room bills that PIP now pays.

We had a PIP bill last year, but JEB vetoed it - his only veto, I believe, outside of budget matters, in 8 years. This year we had a bill from the Senate and enough votes in the house to carry it, but again one man, this time Marco Rubio, refused to let it come to the floor for a vote. How long is Florida going to stand for single, bought and paid for politicians to thwart the will of the legislature and the voters. This is important - let these guys know this is an important issue - too important to be left to insurance company lobbyists, who have nothing but time and money to spend to get their way.

Can all the PIP apologists just relax and wait before jumping off a cliff ? You all have no idea what is going to be the outcome so before your crucify these electeds take a deep breath.

FDLE cannot tackle United. Others can though.

I can see by the comments tonight that the chiros, clinics, shiester insurance companies, scum bag agents (aka specialty agents), and bottom feeding PIP lawyers are feeling the noose tighten around their collective neck. I have health insurance at my work. I don't need PIP and look forward to the savings.

It is about time the legislature finally do something for the rank and file citizen and stop shilling for the cottage industry feeding on PIP.

The hospitals stand to lose, but they will be okay in the long run. The rest of the fraud-feasors can go find a legitimate way to make a living.

carl

hey jakass who has health insurance at work
your health insurance premiums will increase, your taxes will increase
you will save nothing so stop drinking the statefarm koolaid

It is cute to talk about jumping off cliffs huh?

Let us remember Tilly Toomer. She was found four (4) days after being knocked off I-595 (Broward East/West Interstate) and would not have been covered by Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff's bill that would limit treatment to that initiated within three (3) days after the accident.

Could you imagine telling this elderly woman and her family that her insurance would not pay after a horrible hit and run (wherein the culprit left her for dead after knocking her car over a highway overpass).

I would not be able to look her in the face if I saw her at Temple.

I think State Farm is a great company. My family and I have been insured with them for over 30 years. I trust what they say in the letter they sent out. I got it yesterday and called my representative. I don't need PIP and it is consumed by fraud and abuse. Are you a chiro or clinic owner? Can't you help people who are really injured and stop all the fraud?

Hey..Ms. Toomer is on Medicare.....she does NOT need PIP. Without PIP, our seniors will get a much needed insurance premium break. If you are on Medicare, PIP is not necessary and is a rip off.

carl

there is fraud in all insurance
lets get rid of all insurance then.
statefarmm is a great company just ask the people of new orleans they really looked out for them
pip rates in this state have decreased the last 3 years
if thre was so much fraud this would not be the case

How many people are sitting in a canal for 4 day s ?

How many people are sitting in a canal for 4 day s ?

No Fault Insurance Apologists.
Property Insurance Apologists.
Property Tax Apologists.

Whenever the masses learn about the waste and hi-jinks going on in the Legislature in Tallahassee they are labeled. It is becoming harder and harder for the labels to work.

It is called an informed electorate. It is both the antithesis and antidote to an out of control legislature that works in the dark.

Sorry..."works" is the wrong word. How about "operates" as in...operates in the dark.

What about the Municipal Police Officers and Municipal Fire Fighters Pension Fund.

How does the lack of automobile insurance affect that?

Wow! It takes more than one person to be sitting in a canal for more than four (4) days for appropriate insurance to be mandated in a state where there are more uninsured motorists than you can shake a stick at.

Marianne

I think this is ridiculous. I moved from Colorado and we eliminated PIP there. We saved money and the sky didn't fall. Get real and get rid of this fraudulent system.

"Bottom-feeding PIP lawyers", as you call them, would not be necessary if our insurance companies would treat us right and not like criminals when we make valid claims. My uncle was hit by a car in a shopping center parking lot and Allstate would not pay his bills because they said he owned a car that needed to be insured with PIP insurance. [He lived alone and did not own a working car]. They knew he was actually involved in an accident, they knew he was injured and needed x-rays, MRIs and rehabilitative services, but they still said he was not entitled to PIP coverage from the lady who ran him over. He had to prove that the vehicle which was registered to him was not operable for 2 years prior to this accident. He had to track down the junk yard that took the vehicle. Allstate did not believe him. His PIP lawyer investigated and helped him make the necessary proof, but he had to file a lawsuit because the adjuster was just impossible to deal with. It did not cost my uncle a penny to be represented and he certainly could not have done it by himself - he's 64 years old. His PIP lawyer deserves whatever money he was paid for his efforts, which was more than the amount of his medical bills 3 times over. But had it not been for the PIP lawyer, my uncle would not have gotten his medical bills paid, Allstate would have destroyed his credit, and he had already been receiving some collection calls from the medical providers that helped him in his time of need.
If I need a "Bottom Feeding PIP Lawyer" to help me out for free, I will use him/her to keep my insurance company in check. I don't like lawyers, but I will definitely chose a "Bottom-Feeding PIP Lawyer" over an insurance company adjuster any day of the week. Insurance companies don't care about the people, they care about their bottom line. The lawyers would not be necessary if the insurance companies did the right thing. I say "Congratulations" to the PIP lawyers who keep these fraudulent insurance companies in check. They don't worry about anything when they quote a premium and collect your premium. The problem starts only when you make a claim. Talk about "Organized Crimes"... insurance companies are prime examples!

Weary.

joe

I also came from colorado & my health insurance sky rocketed & hospitals lost in excess of 80 million dollars which the tax payers picked up

So let's see... anyone who thinks that saving drivers money is bad and is in cahoots with the big insurance comnpanies. Ever see those chiro clinics chasing down people who get in accidents? I worked at one of those places and it was disgusting. The "doctors" charged whatever they wanted -- no fee schedule, unnecessary visits, whatever they could do to make money. I quit because it made me sick to think of all this money being wasted when alot of people have trouble making rent payments. PIP is just a way for hospitals and chiropractors (and massage therapists, etc etc) to make a quick buck. It's wrong and it needs to end.

You worked there until it made you sick, or until you got fired ? How do you know about "fee schedules". Are you sleeping with a State Farm insurance agent? Get real.

james

why didn't you report the clinic? so you commited as much fraud as they did as you did nothing!! or because your whole story is crap?

Thank you Speaker Rubio for standing up against fraud and abuse. Has anyone ever read the many, many reports detailing the problems with PIP. If the hospitals and others were so concerned about these problems, why were they completely unwilling to negotiate ANY type of fee schedule when they had the chance? To hear their whiny whiny baby cries now is pathetic. I live in Miami but I do read about what is actually going on at the Capitol. Speaker Rubio has again and again tried to get these guys to come up with significant and reasonable changes to FIX the PIP system. But these guys were too cozy with the old way -- bill it baby and bill it way up high. Every accident equals a slush fund for these unscrupulous types. If it can't be fixed, I say hasta baby!

jesus

thank you speaker rubio

blah, blah,blah,blah

he has done nothing but make our streets unsafe. thre will be so many uninsureds driving around it will be like a demolition derby. pip costs $20 per month the only affordable insurance we have.

Each side makes good points. I have an idea, why don't we ASK GARY!!!

James B

I'm a good driver and I have plenty of insurance that I pay a lot for. I'm sick to death of paying for other people's problems. This is America for crying out loud. I say enough already. Get rid of PIP for good.

Is it true that there is not PIP required in 38 other states?

gary

how about we ask charlie?

I only worked there for 2 months because it didn't take me long to see that they were taking advantage of people. I have worked in health care all my life because I want to help people and I believe that is why most people work at low wages in hospitals and doctors offices everywhere. But my experience was that this chiropractor was taking advantage of the system. It was definitely abusive, I don't think it was fraud because it was legal. There were no limits and people want to trust their doctors. But doctors need to earn that trust.

Sara B.

Big Insurance, Big Money, Big Business, Big Tobacco, I say we try Big Environment, Big Education, Big Do Gooder. Then this name calling will really mean something. Grow up.

Yup. No PIP in 38 other states. Hmmm has the world ended or are the roads in 38 other states clogged with uninsured drivers...Nope! I think we'd be hearing about it. PIP sounds like a ripoff to me.

Free Steaks will make you want to get rid of Florida's No Fault Insurance (also known as Personal Injury Protection [PIP]).

Have the legislators that have vowed to get rid of PIP been wined and dined.

Do those other states have state income taxes?


Hmmmmmm

To pay for the immigrants that just got here and drive without insurance.

and then crash into you and laugh!

because they do not have assets or insurance to pay for your medical treatment. But wait all of us here in South Florida are executives or state legislators so we have great health insurance through nice reputable health insurance outfits.

The imanigation and scheming of the PIPsters astounds...

This is a fascinating education in all things politics. PErsonally, I am all for saving money. We are taxed and overinsured because if not, the trial lawyers come a calling! But I honestly can't understand why if I already have car insurance covering up to $1 million AND health insurance, why do I also need PIP? I have 2 teenage sons, a total of four cars and a daughter who will soon be driving -- I spend a FORTUNE on car insurance and in 25 years have had only a fender bender. I frankly wish I could just insure myself.

Auto insurance is too high, anything to reduce that is good for me.

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