PIP Reform Needs Sworn Testimony

The Sun Sentinel
Friday, December 23, 2011

A new study by the Americans for Insurance Reform should reverberate in Tallahassee as Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers prepare to reform no-fault auto insurance, or PIP.

The project of the New York Law School's Center for Justice and Democracy claims insurers have faked some of its "crises" to pump up profits and concludes that the professed need for premiums to outpace claims and other expenses is simply a myth.


The findings are troubling and reminiscent of another insurance crisis back in 2003 that had tied up the state capital in controversy.

Medical malpractice was the burning issue, and at the time the war of words between the attorneys, physicians, insurance industry, not to mention then Gov. Jeb Bush and Senate President Jim King, R-Jacksonville, left lawmakers reeling as to how best to proceed in crafting a meaningful reform. Enter the seemingly extraordinary idea of taking sworn testimony as senators used the chamber's subpoena powers to obtain answers to a host of questions that had eluded them, such as "How much money is the insurance industry taking in from premiums and how much is it paying out in benefits?" Or, "have some insurers moved profits around to conceal profits?"


Next month, lawmakers will again tackle another complicated insurance matter. PIP as it stands now is both overburdened by fraud and abuse and a necessity to those who rely on the no-fault coverage. The public deserves a thorough and open process in coming up with a reform, and unfortunately the legislative process doesn't always ensure that.


For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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