President Office — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2021
Senate Passes Legislation to Repeal Florida’s Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law
SB 54 Repeals PIP, Requires BI Coverage, Creates New Framework for Motor Vehicle Insurance Bad Faith Actions
The Florida Senate today passed Senate Bill 54, Motor Vehicle Insurance, by Senator Danny Burgess (R-Zephyrhills). The legislation repeals Florida’s current Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, which requires drivers to carry personal injury protection coverage, instead requiring that drivers carry bodily injury liability coverage. The bill also creates a new framework to govern motor vehicle claim handling and third-party bad faith failure to settle actions against motor vehicle insurance carriers.
“Florida is one of only two states in the country that does not currently require drivers to carry liability coverage that would immediately kick in if they cause harm to another person while operating a motor vehicle,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby). “For everyone’s protection, drivers must be insured at sufficient levels. PIP coverage levels are clearly insufficient. It’s the right time for Florida to move to mandatory coverage for bodily injury liability.”
“The goal of this legislation is to lower the number of uninsured and underinsured drivers and provide a greater safety net in the event of an accident. Replacing our current no-fault system with a bodily injury liability system more appropriately places liability where it should be – with the party that caused the accident,” said Senator Burgess. “Additionally, the bill creates a new framework for handling bad faith litigation that provides a clear set of standards to govern the conduct of both parties in the claims handling process, which we believe will lead to better outcomes for both insured Floridians and their insurance companies.”
Repeals No-Fault, Requires Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
SB 54 repeals the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law (No-Fault Law), which requires every owner and registrant of a motor vehicle in this state to maintain Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. The bill protects drivers by setting minimum financial responsibility requirements for liability for motor vehicle ownership or operation, as follows:
- For bodily injury (BI) of one person in any one incident, $25,000, and $50,000 for two or more people in any one incident.
- Retains the existing $10,000 financial responsibility requirement for property damage.
- Repealing the No-Fault Law eliminates the limitations on recovering pain and suffering damages from PIP insureds, which currently require bodily injury that causes death or significant and permanent injury.
Requires Medical Payments Coverage
SB 54 requires medical payments coverage (MedPay) with limits of $5,000 or $10,000, without a deductible, to cover medical expenses of the insured. Insurers may also offer other policy limits that exceed $5,000, and may offer deductibles of up to $500. The bill requires that insurers must reserve the first $5,000 of MedPay benefits for 30 days to pay providers of emergency services or hospital inpatient care.
Creates a New Framework for Motor Vehicle Insurance Bad Faith Actions
SB 54 creates a new framework to govern claim handling practices of motor vehicle carriers and all third-party bad faith failure to settle actions related to motor vehicle insurance claims. The bill requires insurers to follow claims handling best practices standards based on long-established good faith duties related to claim handling, claim investigation, defense of the insured, and settlement negotiations.
Allows for Named Driver Exclusions
SB 54 authorizes the exclusion of a specifically named individual from specified insurance coverages under a private passenger motor vehicle policy, with the written consent of the policyholder.