DON'T ENCOURAGE UNINSURED DRIVERS

May 23, 2007

Legislators intent on sunsetting Florida's no-fault auto-insurance law got more than they bargained for: They eliminated mandated auto insurance altogether, says the Miami Herald.

  • The unintended consequences could raise auto-insurance costs -- not necessarily lower costs, as some legislators suggested.
  • Floridians also will pay the price when emergency rooms see a spike in accident victims who lack health coverage of any kind.

This isn't good policy, nor is it fair to drivers who responsibly insure their vehicles. Lawmakers should use the special session to reverse the unintended effects of the law's expiration. State law requires two types of auto coverage:

  • Personal injury protection, or PIP, which pays most medical expenses and lost wages. A minimum of $10,000 coverage is required.
  • Property damage liability, with $10,000 minimum coverage; this covers damages to another person's car or other property.

In the absence of legislative action, as of Oct. 1, Florida drivers no longer will have to buy auto insurance to register their cars. This is an invitation to drop coverage. Meanwhile, drivers who keep their auto insurance will see their rates rise, especially for uninsured-motorist coverage, says the Herald.

Source: Editorial, "Don't encourage uninsured drivers," Miami Herald, May 23, 2007.

 

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