« Gelber to Dean: retire circular firing squad | Main | Sex and theft charge lead Giuliani event organizer to quit »

PIP Politics: Anti-PIP group says state is wrong

Floridians for Lower Insurance Costs, the insurance-backed group pushing to keep the Oct. 1 repeal of no-fault insurance intact, today issued its own legal analysis that contradicts one put out last week by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The group, whose members include State Farm and Allstate, says that motorists will have to carry proof of insurance and show it to police officers if they are pulled over for routine traffic stops. That's not the opinion of the state, which says it plans to tell law enforcement agents across the state that after Oct. 1 they cannot require a driver to show proof of insurance if the driver is pulled over. The state did say police could ask to see proof of insurance if they are investigating an accident.

"Law enforcement will continue to be able to enforce these laws after October 1,'' said Allison North Jones, a spokeswoman for Floridians for Lower Insurance Costs. (See full statement in comments.)

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Gary Fineout

Tallahassee -- When Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system is eliminated in October, Florida drivers will still be required to purchase property damage liability insurance as well as show proof of insurance when they register their vehicles, are pulled over by law enforcement as well as during routine traffic stops.

According to a legal analysis by Pennington Law Firm, the elimination of no-fault will not impact this aspect of enforcement that the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and law enforcement officials have always utilized to ensure Florida’s roadways remain safe and drivers are insured.

As stated in the Pennington analysis, Florida law currently, “requires proof of insurance to be carried, and this requirement will not be affected if PIP sunsets.”

“Law enforcement will continue to be able to enforce these laws after October 1st, the only thing that is changing is a costly medical coverage that most Floridians do not even need is going to be eliminated,” said Allison North Jones, spokeswoman for Floridians for Lower Insurance Costs. “Thirty-eight other states do not require no-fault insurance and they all manage to continue enforcing their insurance laws and we believe Florida will be able to as well.”

Additionally, DHSMV’s own recent legal opinion, which compelled the department’s reversal on the state’s insurance requirements, also shows they will continue to be able to enforce the requirement that drivers purchase and maintain insurance for their vehicles.

“Once no-fault is eliminated, Florida drivers will continue to be required to carry property damage liability coverage and comply with the state’s financial responsibility law,’’ Jones said. “Additionally, as legal analysis shows, there are sufficient enforcement measures outlined in existing law which allow DHSMV and police officers to continue enforcing the state’s stringent insurance laws, laws which have maintained the low rate of uninsured motorists in Florida.”

According to DHSMV, only about 4 to 6 percent of Florida drivers do not have insurance.

Floridians for Lower Insurance Costs is a coalition of more than 10,000 individual consumers, businesses and trade associations from throughout Florida.

WAKE UP

Floridans for Lower Insurance is State Farm. Ms. North works for the PR firm that State Farm hired to kill pip so they can make millions more in profits. Just look at her web site. http://www.herrle.com/teamInfo.asp?TeamID=13

If we lose PIP 40% will stop carrying insurance. We will all pay higher taxes, car insurance and taxes. If you drive you should be held responsible for your own medical bills and the bills for the pedistrians you hit. It costs $12 a month. Snake Fraud is spending millions to kill PIP.

Why would we trust State Farm? They lie all the time.

Millie

We need to keep PIP. I can't believe our legislature would allow this to happen without anything or anything that is comparable in its place. To get rid of the system b/c of a few bad apples is not the answer. There is more fraud in Medicare, but yet there is not cry to get rid of MEdicare... the motive to get rid of PIP is driven by Big insurance companies who will make more profits by getting rid of the system.

The hijinks never stop from the pro Big Insurance crowd. If the powers that be get their way the consumers will wake up to an awful hang over of higher taxes, higher automobile insurance premiums and court dockets that will balloon to deal with all minor fender benders that occur every day in the State of Florida.

By then the crowd that let this nonsense of getting rid of Personal Injury Protection ("PIP" also known as No Fault Insurance) will have run off to another office (as they will be term limited out of their current positions) or will be making even more money at the Insurance Industry positions that they have secured for themselves with their secretive anti-consumer switch-a-roo that they are about to pull on an uneducated public.

Notice I did not say a DUMB public. Just uneducated. When folks wake up and wise up and figure what this is all about they are going to freak.

Rafael

Dear Ms. North Jones,

I wonder how much State Farm pays your PR firm every time you open your mouth to parrot their sound bites. How much did State Farm pay the Pennington firm for its fine analysis, which clearly is better than that of our State's own Attorney General's, Chief Financial Officer, DMV,... attorneys? In the event the Pennington law firm is wrong, will they be subject to any type of malpractice suit?

Who does the Pennington Law Firm represent? Who is the Pennington Law Firm? Who commissioned their legal analysis?

More importantly, I find it ironic that State Farm is so proud of the fact that in Florida (at least under its own analysis) we will be required to carry insurance for PROPERTY damage we may cause to other persons' PROPERTY, but not for medical care that we may need ourselves, or lost wages that we may incur ourselves, let alone for injuries we may cause to others as the result of negligence. How, I wonder, does State Farm, and its front group, Floridians for Lower Insurance Costs, justify the need for property damage insurance when we don't need insurance for anything else. Is it because property damage insurance is cheap? Do body shops not engage in fraud?

The reason State Farm / Floridians for Lower Insurance Costs is striving to say that we will still have to carry property damage insurance is to try to appease those that understand that the repeal of the No-Fault laws will actually cost the state millions and will require the closure of dozens of DMV offices and the firing of hundreds of state employees. That is because these offices and the employees' salaries are funded, in large part, by fines agains those that let their insurance lapse. Ms. North Jones, your house of cards continues to fall down around you, no matter how hard you try to prop it up with propaganda and misinformation. Even if it comes from the hallowed halls of some lawfirm with a fancy name that nobody has heard of and which has no accountability to the citizens of this state.

For those of you reading this, understand one thing: the only ones seeking the end of no-fault are State Farm / Floridians for Lower Insurance Costs and a few other large insurers. By and large, the vast majority of insurance companies want to keep PIP. Interestingly, most of our legislators want to keep the no-fault laws in place and add some enforceable anti-fraud provisions. However, State Farm's bought-and-paid for legislators, Marco Rubio and Ellyn Bogdanoff have seen to it that our legislators don't even get the opportunity to vote on the issue unless it is on the terms that Rubio and Bogdanoff set. Rubio blocked a bill passed unanimously in the senate from being heard during the regular legislative session.

Mr. Rubio, how much do Special Sessions of the legislature cost the citizens of the state of Florida? Would it not have been more responsible and ethical, in your duties as an elected official to allow the issue to be heard during the regular legislative session, so as to avoid the additional expense to the citizens of this state? Would it not have been more in line with our democratic and open form of government to have debate and vote on the issue, rather than to exercise your quasi-dictatorial power and personally make sure that the pending legislation wasn't heard?

I am tired of politicians claiming there is fraud in PIP without any personal knowledge of it. Where are the numbers? I don't mean State Farm's numbers? I mean the Dept. of Insurance numbers! Why are we playing hide the ball? I submit it is because someone (Rubio and Bogdanoff) wants us to simply believe it is so just because they say it.

I love our state and our country, but I fear unchecked government. This is an example of unchecked government. It is also an example of greed and political clout gone wrong.

Everybody needs to let these, and all the other legislators, know that we are watching and we will hold them accountable for the mess they are creating. All this talk about personal responsibility makes me think it's time we hold the legislators responsible for their actions.

Also, while on the subject of fraud, what greater fraud can there be than a legislator who casts his/her vote based upon the amount donated by a contributor? Shame on you.

Fitzie

Sounds like Marco Rubio governs like Castro.

Mama

Dear Rafael,

I must insert that I have high doubts that Ms. North Jones is getting paid half as much as the hospitals who are benfitting from this fraudulant and broken system of no-fault insurance. I also assume that she is not getting paid as much as you are working as a professional blogger.

The no-fault system begs for reforms. Although those reforms have been blocked by individuals who have stalled the legislative process much like you have clogged this blog with your inaccuracies.

Fitzie

Mama-- Rubio and Bogdanoff are dirty and in the pockets of State Farm and others. Agreed?

Fitzie

Rubio and Bogdanoff are at home counting their cash received from United Auto and State Farm. They are the FRAUDS!!! The whole political process breaks down when this kind of rampant fraudulent corruption exists in our legislators. Rubio and Bogdanoff should be ashamed of themselves. So says Fitzie. Both are political non-factors after 08.

fitzie, what is rubio raising the money for / he is termed out. if you have proof that they are "dirty" why dont you go to the state attorney? sounds like you are the dirty one

Fitzie

Demented Rubio dreams of a Senate run. To clarify what I mean by "dirty" = to take an insurance company's donations and promise for future donations to block or attempt to pass laws that you know are not in the best interests of the people of Florida. Not a crime but it is unethical and violative of the trust citizen's place in their leaders. Rubio was elected by the people. However, his actions would benefit large insurance companies to the detriment of the people. So he is unethical dirt and a deciever to the public. And dont call me dirty when you don't have the guts to past your name Rubio employee. So says Fitzie.

rml

Why are we supposed to be dumb enough to believe that we'll see lower rates when these same people were supposed to lower homeowner's rates then jacked them up instead (if they didn't already drop you). They're in it for their own profiteering.wake up.

And Fitzie is your name?

So how about the bill passed in January that the insurance companies hated? Did that violate the supposed deal between rubio and the insurance companies.

Fitzie, i think you are someone who makes lots of money off pip!

Dreams of a senate run? After the diaz-Balarts and Ros-Lehtinen, rubio is the most popular politician in Dade County. And I have seen the polling to prove it!

mama

Prove they are dirty!

Insurance Insider

Clearly, Rubio has received huge amounts of money from the insurance industry. This is public information. Now he is majically trying to kill PIP at the same time Snake Fraud created Floridians for Lower Insurance and spent millions and millions of dollars to kill PIP. Is this just a coincidence? No, he agreed to kill PIP and big insurance agreed to give him big money for his campaigns. Alison North Jones is an employee of the PR firm that created Floridians for Lower Insurance at the request of Snake Fraud. Therefore, she is being paid to go around trying to kill pip. I made it very clear for everyone. Now call Crist and ask him to fight to save PIP. He is being a wus. By the way, Rubio political career is over. He term limits soon and has no where to go.

Indep. Ins Agent

I have been stressed (To say the Least) about the Sunset of PIP for the last two months, reading every news paper article in the state, emailing the Governor, my State Rep. and speaking to him in person.
As our agency only sells auto insurance, and a major part of our book of business is non-standard it appears we will lose the agency if PIP is permitted to Sunset.
We bought the Agency in April of 2005, and have been making monthly loan payments the final loan payment is due December 1st. If PIP Sunsets we will make that final loan payment and then have to lock the doors forever, having lost everything we own and more.
Due to our loan payments being so high we have never taken any money out of the business, but have been living off my husband’s paycheck since the purchase of the business. It is heartbreaking to have worked so hard for nothing, and very frustrating to come to terms that you have no control over the destiny of your own business.

When I emailed the Governor, the aid that returned my emailed explained PIP to me. This let me know my email was not read at all. They just read the subject line and fed me a standard reply.

We will again contact our State Rep. (Who by the way supports PIP), the speaker of the house and the Governor’s Office. Keep crossing our fingers and still not sleeping at night.

Hopefully if enough emails are sent something will happen, or State Farm will just screw Florida again, you would think our law makers would have figured that out after their last Special Session.

Fitzie

Rubio and Bogdanoff are corrupt agents and minions of big insurance. A special investigation needs to be launched into their connections to big insurance. WHy is Rubio having secret dinners at Fleming's with Richard Parrillo, the owner of United Auto, while United is publicy trying to kill PIP. Rubio is bought and paid for along with partner in crime Ellyn Bogdanoff. Parrillo has personally contributed to both their campaigns in 2004 and 2006.

IMPEACH BUSH, CHENEY, RUBIO, ALLEN AND FOLEY.

IMPEACH ALLEN AND BOGDANOFF, MCCAIN'S CORRUPT EMPLOYEES.

armando

SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS WHEN BIG INSURANCE THROUGH THEIR LEGISLATORS ARE DICTATING OUR LIVES. CAN YOU REMEMBER WHEN STATE FARM HAS BEEN A GOOD NEIGHBOR.

Daystar

During the first four years in Florida I did not have any medical insurance. I, unfortunitly, had two car accidents that were not my fault. One accident caused up to $4000.00 in damage and was a direct hit from behind, and the other a teenage girl ran a red light and totalled my car. I suffered injuries, especially in the second accident, and was only able to seek treatment for my injuries and afford to do so because of my PIP coverage. So I ask; How else could I have been able to seek medical attention and feel assure that I could get the proper treatment if it was not for PIP?

Bryan

Persons who are so adamant about keeping PIP around are either misinformed or have a financial stake in keeping it going. What the proponents of PIP either do not understand or don't want you to know is that there are two fatal flaws with Florida's No-Fault system:

1.) There are no caps for billing and no negotiated agreements between insurers and providers such as they have in health insurance and Worker's Comp. You pay what is charged or you're probably on the hook for their attorney fees. Therefore, the bills are usually paid and the insurer is happy the amount is only $10,000 (in most cases). Most of this treatment is for subjective injury (i.e. whiplash) cases which are difficult to disprove, so the money is paid- You can really thank Physician's Group (which, at last count had about 40 other names for their clinics throughout Florida) owned by Mr. Gary (a chiro) of 1-800-ASK-GARY fame, for the demise of PIP. They'll run through that $10,000 PIP in 2-3 months flat for whiplash injuries- Talk about greed...

2.) The Tort Exemption provided under the No-Fault law. The notion that you have to be permanently injured to collect pain and suffering (i.e. General Damages) versus the at-fault party (or their insurer, if they carry B.I. Liability Coverage) is absurd. Think of the psychology of this: Your car has been smashed by some fool who can't drive, you have a (literal) pain in your neck over the whole process and you're told that you can't be compensated for your pain unless you've been permanently injured. So the message from the get-go is, "it's bad to get better".

I've seen cases from many different states and there are two things that set Florida apart:

1.) The average bills for a typical whiplash injury run a lot higher than in other states when the person injured is not at-fault and is represented by an attorney.

2.) They also come with a certification (usually from a chiropractor) that the person has sustained a permanent injury.

Gee, I guess the spines of us Floridians must be different from the rest of the country, eh?
Let's face the facts, the reason PIP is going away is because of these greedy providers. You think insurers lose money on PIP? Think again, they don't lose money on any coverage, they just charge those who carry insurance enough to cover it. I do (and so should you unless you profit from PIP) resent being forced to carry a coverage that I do not need, do not want and supports the lavish lifestyles of those who benefit most from it (i.e. the clinic owners and Physicians who ply their trade there). I'd much prefer my insurer at least attempt a first call settlement with an injured person if I cause the accident, rather than setting up an adversarial relationship from the start which actually has the opposite effect of what PIP was supposed to accomplish in the first place. If you don't think the demise of PIP will end these sleazy "injury only" accident clinics think of this: Physician's Group attempted to expand into Georgia but couldn't make a go of it. Why? Because without a steady stream of virtually guaranteed PIP payments flowing in to cover their overhead, they simply could not operate. No, the demise of PIP is a good thing and for those of us who already pay for full auto coverage and health insurance, our bills WILL go down. Enough of the hysteria already. The majority of states don't have No-Fault, we pay the 6th highest rates in the nation and enough is enough! Lastly, to those who think this is a massive conspiracy between the legislature and insurers, then why not see a rather unflattering portrait of our Gov. and the owner of Physician's Group courtesy of a recent investigation by the Tampa Tribune at:

http://www.tbo.com/news/money/MGBD46KIG3F.html

Incidentally, the Trib, which I subscribe to, had a nice picture of them sitting on park bench together- How quaint...

andy

Bryan i dont know about you but my insurance is
not going down.i dont make money either on pip
the hell with insurance companies,they should
give a rebate or our money back if we dont have a accident.just like wholelife ins.
stop insurance and politicians making $$$$$$$$
and giving back noting.

The comments to this entry are closed.