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On an 89-to-29 vote, the Florida House of Representatives on Wednesday approved legislation to promote accountability and responsibility on the state’s roadways by requiring drivers to carry bodily injury insurance coverage.

Representative Erin Grall and FJA President-Elect Dale Swope meet to discuss the House Mandatory Bodily Injury Liability Insurance legislation. 

CS/CS/HB 1063 by Rep. Erin Grall would repeal the state’s no-fault PIP-based auto insurance system and increase the minimum bodily injury coverage limits. It would require Florida drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident. It also maintains the requirement for $10,000 of property damage coverage.

“Today, we have the ability to start thinking about personal responsibility in a different way, and shifting that paradigm in the state of Florida in how we do auto insurance,” Rep. Grall explained to her fellow lawmakers.

Florida’s no-fault bare-bones PIP insurance system has left too many people bearing the burden of car crashes caused by others.

This House legislation to have Florida join 48 other states that require drivers to carry bodily injury insurance is a win for Florida drivers. In Florida, drivers have purchased bodily injury coverage on 92 percent of the vehicles on the state’s roads.

The proposal would increase coverage on Florida’s roads while providing an opportunity for a reduction in premium costs on the majority of Florida drivers that already carry the liability coverage required under the bill.

While rates are ultimately set by the insurance companies, in Florida’s 10 most populated counties, it’s estimated drivers carrying carry bodily injury liability coverage at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident level would receive savings at the following percentages:

Miami-Dade County: 23.1 percent
Broward County: 10.9 percent
Palm Beach County: 4.5 percent
Hillsborough County: 8.1 percent
Orange County: 10.7 percent
Pinellas County: 1.6 percent
Duval County: 4.6 percent
Lee County: 5.3 percent
Polk County: 7.1 percent
Brevard County: 1.7 percent

Estimates also show drivers with liability coverage required under the bill in smaller counties would also see savings at the following levels.

Osceola County: 13.1 percent
Hendry County: 12.1 percent
Gadsden County: 10 percent
Hardee County: 9.6 percent
DeSoto County: 8.5 percent
Union County: 7.4 percent
Glades County: 7.3 percent
Dixie County: 7.0 percent
Hamilton County: 7.0 percent
St. Lucie County: 6.0 percent

“It’s difficult to think about doing something different after 40-plus years, but it shouldn’t keep us from doing what’s best for Floridians,” said Rep. Grall.

The House bill goes to the Florida Senate.

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