MIAMI, March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida lawmakers on Friday sent a bill to Gov. Rick Scott's desk that would make significant changes to how standard auto insurance policies in the state protect drivers, a development that has both positive and negative implications for Florida policyholders, according to OnlineAutoInsurance.com.
The positive side is that if promises from legislators, the governor and the coverage industry turn out to be true, Sunshine State drivers should be seeing lower prices when they go to compare car insurance prices at this time next year.
The negative side is that the reason costs would be coming down is a significant shift in the ways those coverages would be applied.
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance currently pays for 80 percent of a policyholder's "reasonable" medical expenses following a crash, up to the policy limits. And policies must provide at least $10,000 worth of protection.
But if Gov. Scott sings the bill, HB 119, into law, which he is expected to do, policies would only cover up to 80 percent -- up to the policy limits -- of reasonable medical expenses, but only for treatment of "emergency medical conditions" that are initially diagnosed or treated within the first 14 days after a crash.
If the insured driver does not have an emergency condition, coverage is limited to $2,500, regardless of the policy limits.
An emergency medical condition is defined in the bill as a condition that, without immediate medical attention, could "reasonably be expected" to do any of the following:
- Cause serious jeopardy to the patient's health
- Result in serious impairment to bodily functions
- Result in serious dysfunction of any organ or body part
Whether consumers are happy to give up that coverage for some extra cost savings will be seen over the next few years. If Gov. Scott signs the measure into law, the changes would take effect in July 2012.
For more on this and other car insurance issues, head to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/compare/ to get access to informative resource pages and an easy-to-use quote-comparison generator.
SOURCE Online Auto Insurance, LLC