February 27, 2020

In 2020, Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system is looking to hit the refresh button.  The House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee recently voted 13-4 to end the no-fault system, which requires motorists to carry personal-injury protection, or PIP, coverage. The bill (HB 771) would instead require motorists to carry bodily-injury coverage.  

Repealing PIP, a state study found, could save Floridians $81 per car per year, nearly $1 billion collectively. Lawmakers for years have debated whether to get rid of the PIP system, which requires motorists to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage to help pay medical bills after accidents.

Floridians pay the nation’s third-highest car insurance rates despite state roads being relatively straight, flat, and snow/ice-free. 

PIP repeal bills are working through committees, with sponsors citing tweaks that make them more appealing to insurers, physicians, and hospitals that have vigorously opposed past reform attempts.

The proposal, at least for now, appears stalled in the Senate over a proposed amendment designed to restrict “bad faith” lawsuits, which involve allegations that insurers have not properly looked out for the interests of their customers (policyholders).  

Unfortunately, insurers regularly engage in bad faith behavior and practices.  Accident victims and policyholders must have a mechanism to hold bad faith insurers accountable. 

The law states that your insurance company must treat you fairly and honestly when evaluating the validity of your claim, and settle claims against you if it can do so within the coverage limit.  

If you are currently facing problems with your insurance company, you should get in touch with the insurance claim attorneys at Corless Barfield Trial Group.  Insurers look to delay, deny or underpay valid personal injury and property damage claims all the time. We will help you fight back against an insurer’s illegal tactics.  Please call our office at 813-258-4998 for a free and confidential case evaluation. 

Insurance companies are expected to act in “good faith” when resolving, examining, and settling claims made against their policyholders. Yet in many situations, insurance companies act in defiance of the law, which is why you need an attorney representing your rights. 

What type of activity illustrates bad faith? The following actions on the part of your insurance company may serve as the basis for prohibited bad faith conduct:

  • fails to pay or settle a claim within policy limits without a reasonable basis; 
  • fails to properly and promptly investigate or defend a claim; 
  • fails to provide justification for denying a claim; 
  • offers inconsistent or baseless interpretations of the policy; 
  • uses deceptive practices or intentional misrepresentations to avoid paying claims; 
  • terminates a claim that should have been paid; or 
  • fails to offer the full value of a claim’s worth, or giving an unreasonably low offer to compensate damages.

It should come as no surprise that insurers have sought for years to put more restrictions on bad faith lawsuits and have attempted to tie it to no-fault auto insurance, as they are doing here when it comes to repealing PIP coverage. 

Corless Barfield Trial Group has secured record-setting judgments against insurance companies that refused to protect their insureds by properly evaluating the claims against them.  Our attorneys have successfully tried countless bad faith claims. Our goal as personal injury and property damage lawyers is to ensure the insurance company does not wrongfully deny your claim for full and just compensation. For your no-obligation, case consultation, call Corless Barfield at 813-258-4998.