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Scott: Personal Injury Protection Coverage Should Be Optional

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TALLAHASSEE (CBS4)- Gov. Rick Scott said Friday that he would support making personal injury protection auto insurance coverage, or PIP, optional.

Scott made the remarks during a radio interview Friday, and a spokesman confirmed that Scott would support doing away with Florida’s requirement that motorists carry PIP coverage.

“He said he supports the idea of making PIP an option,” said the spokesman, Lane Wright. “Gov. Scott has always stressed the importance of having choice, when it comes to insurance.”

Wright said the administration hadn’t drafted any legislation, that Scott was merely stating a position on the requirement. PIP has been a subject of ire for insurers for years because of heavy amounts of fraud.

Florida law currently requires every motorist to carry $10,000 worth of PIP coverage to cover their medical costs if they’re in an accident. A motorist’s insurance company pays the medical bills for that motorist out of the PIP coverage no matter who is at fault in the accident, an arrangement known as a no-fault law.

Sam Miller, a spokesman for the industry group Florida Insurance Council, said he couldn’t comment in detail without a detailed proposal, but that in general insurers would welcome changes.

“We have to do something, because the fraud is out of control,” Miller said. “If the governor wants that to be part of the mix, we would look at the details. It’s good that the governor is getting involved in the debate.”

Insurers expect that auto insurance is likely to be a major issue for legislators in the coming year after a few years of focus on property insurance reforms.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)

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