Florida bill could raise auto-insurance rates if signed

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FORT MYERS, Fla. (NBC 2) — If you carry the bare minimum of $10,000 for personal injury protection, your rates will go up if the governor signs a bill requiring mandatory bodily injury starting at $25,000.

That means your rates could go up 50% as early as January.

Ashley Graham pays her car insurance annually.

“It’s one of those I probably paid a lump sum at the beginning of the year and just didn’t pay attention to it and probably should,” Graham said.

Many others pay their rates monthly. Landon Martini worried his insurance rates could rise significantly.

“It doesn’t get any easier, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get any easier,” Martini said. “You’ve got to work really hard out here.”

If the governor signs a bill ditching PIP insurance for mandatory coverage.

“26 percent of the drivers on the road have minimum limits now so they’re obviously going to see an increase,” said John Gardner with the Lee County Insurance Agency. “If you’ve got over $25k, it many not result in an increase.”

Gardner worries increased coverage could open up to more fraud.

“There is a potential that $25k is going to be pegged for pain and suffering when there may or may not be significant injury,” Gardner said.

“I think what they were trying to create was if you cause an accident to somebody, then you’re able to fix their car and somewhat fix their injury,” injury accident attorney Sean King said.

King believes mandatory bodily injury is necessary.

“A landscaper with a broken arm, he’s out for weeks and months before he’s back to work,” King said. “What is a roofer going to do with a broken leg?”

The bill requiring this change is on the governor’s desk. There are rumors he may veto it.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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