The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) yesterday issued the following statement, attributed to its assistant vice president of state government relations Logan McFaddin, regarding the passage of House Bill 719 (Motor Vehicle Insurance) by the House Judiciary Committee.
“With the actions of the House Judiciary Committee today, Florida drivers are on a collision course with higher auto insurance costs. House Bill 719, as amended, could on average raise auto insurance costs by as much as $455 a year and some drivers who carry the lowest levels of coverage could get hit even harder with projected annual increases as high as $860, according to data analyzed by APCIA.
“If auto insurance costs skyrocket and coverage becomes unaffordable for low-income drivers, our state could see an increase in the number of uninsured motorists on Florida’s roads. Florida already has one of the highest rates of uninsured motorists in the nation at approximately 20 percent.
“Additionally, the bad faith provisions contained in HB 719 are a considerable step backward and do nothing to alleviate the current abuses of Florida’s bad faith laws. This will only add fuel to the inferno that is Florida’s legal environment and provide more opportunities for lawsuit abuse, which ultimately drives up consumer costs.
“Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system has been in place for 50 years, but lawmakers are attempting to eliminate this major public policy through a rushed process without an objective study on the cost impact to consumers. HB 719 has not gone through the proper committees for consideration and some members of the House Judiciary Committee commented on the need for more objective data and information on the cost impact of repealing Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system.
“APCIA and its members who make up nearly 60 percent of Florida’s auto insurance writers will continue fighting to protect consumers from rising auto insurance costs and oppose House Bill 719 and similar legislation (SB 54) in the Senate.”