Historic levels of inflation are hitting everyone across the country hard right now. On top of higher costs for just about everything, here in the Sunshine state we pay the second-highest car insurance rates in the country.
One of the major reasons why Florida has this distressing distinction is because of loopholes surrounding personal injury protection (PIP) and assignment of benefits (AOB) laws. Plaintiff’s attorneys in our state have created a cottage industry out of scamming insurance companies for millions of dollars each year. As a result, drivers are stuck with paying higher premiums.
Here’s the scam. Automotive service and medical providers, often in cahoots with plaintiff’s attorneys, bait unwitting accident victims into forfeiting their rights to file claims with their insurance company. They tell victims they will handle the “complicated” insurance process for them and have them sign an AOB contract.
Then, the providers file inflated claims totaling well above the cost of any legitimate auto repair or medical assistance that was required as the result of an accident. When insurers dispute or deny the claim, the medical providers sue. As a result, lawyers collect huge fees and insurers must factor these increased legal fees into their premiums to offset the inflated damages they are forced to pay.
Florida’s history is rife with auto insurance fraud, but our backwards legal climate still has plenty of loopholes for lawyers to exploit. If PIP and auto insurance reform doesn’t come soon, insurance premiums in Florida will only get worse.
2180 Hawksridge Drive, #2003
Naples, FL 34105