Miami car accident attorney Joseph Lipsky has seen an increase in the number of car accidents across Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach over the past year. Now it appears those rising number of car accidents and the personal injuries they cause are the reason of South Florida drivers paying some of the highest care insurance premiums in the United States. In fact, contrary to the promises made by insurance companies in their ever present advertising, car insurance rates across Florida have actually increased by fourteen percent over the last year and a half.
According to the state’s insurance commissioner, the insurance companies are steadily raising their rates because the number of drivers on the road is steadily increasing. The increase in drivers is certainly due to lower gas prices and less unemployment. Regulators blame the steady rise in personal injury protection, or PIP, claims as a major cause of the premium increases. PIP, generally referred to as no fault insurance, requires all drivers to have $10,000 of PIP to pay for their own medical bills and lost wages in the event they are involved in an accident. Each person is required to use their own insurance, not that of the at fault party, to pay the first $10,000.00 of their medical bills/lost wages. The portion of car insurance attributed to PIP is responsible for approximately 25% of all car insurance premiums.
Florida remains one of the only states with such a no-fault/PIP system. Most other states have mandatory liability insurance which makes the at fault party responsible for the damages they cause. But because such a change would require mandatory liability insurance, most insurance companies are opposed to changing the law. Also, most hospitals, which seemingly overbill accident victims, are also opposed to abolishing PIP, which they look upon as a cash cow given its higher reimbursement rates, when compared to Medicare and health insurance.
Considering car accidents increased by almost ten percent over the past year, there can be no doubt that insurance companies rate raising is not finished. Surprisingly, Miami only rose by just over 5 percent, compared with Broward’s nearly thirteen percent increase.