October 1, 2012, was the final day for automobile insurers to file Florida rates for 2013. Under HB 119, a substantial revision of Florida’s no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, PIP premiums for 2013 must be reduced by 10%. If not, the new law requires the insurers to say why. Not only did most of the 145 rate filings to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation fail to reduce the PIP portion of their automobile insurance rates, but (with the required explanation) most sought to increase them.
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty said in a statement that for the time being savings from HB 119 “will result in a mitigation of rate increases rather than actual rate reductions for most companies.” The filings,however, he said, “represent a major shift in the trajectory of PIP insurance rates in Florida.”
Savings from HB 119 are expected to result from measures that eliminate insurance payments for massage and acupuncture and limit payments to chiropractors. Whether these savings materialize, however, now depends on the courts. A consortium of these health care providers has sued to enjoin HB 119 as unconstitutional on a variety of grounds.