Personal Injury Protection (PIP) legislation may not be dead after all in Florida, as the Florida Senate approved a PIP package supported by an unlikely alliance including Florida Insurance Council, personal injury lawyers and doctors.
According to the FIC, the Senate also approved a plan that would create standards for credit reporting and a public records exemption for insurance company scoring models. In addition, the Senate endorsed, by a slim margin, a workers’ compensation package that was loosely based on a proposal put forth by a coalition of business and insurance groups.
Both houses of the Florida Legislature are now in recess until after the Memorial Day holiday, returning May 27, the last day of 2003’s first special session, Special Session A.
Barring an unforeseen breakdown, the two chambers are expected to forward the workers’ comp and PIP packages to Governor Jeb Bush. FIC is urging House leaders to bring up the insurance scoring bills, which have been introduced in that chamber as well as the Senate and included in the special session call.
The PIP package is not the comprehensive proposal aimed at fixing Florida’s PIP problems that was endorsed by FIC, other insurers and the Select Senate Committee on PIP/No fault. The bill sunsets PIP in 2007 and requires the 2006 Legislature to decide whether to re-instate PIP or to come up with a replacement. Reforms retained in the bill aimed at helping to fight against fraud other cost drivers include enhanced criminal penalties and expansion of the pre-suit notice, demand letter in disputes between providers and insurers.
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