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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.