Insurance Premiums Increase Despite Law to Lower Them | NBC 6 South Florida
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Insurance Premiums Increase Despite Law to Lower Them

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It's been four years since reforms were put into place with promises that auto insurance premiums would go down. Florida drivers pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country. (Published Tuesday, May 10, 2016)

    Adolfo Rosendo had to pull to the side of I-95 in Broward County after his truck was hit from behind when traffic slowed down.

    "This is a 2015 car," Resendo said. "It's brand new."

    He was hit by a driver who told us he tried to brake.

    "He was a little closer than I anticipated," Amil said.

    Now both worry about what will happen to their insurance.

    "You have to worry on top of that now that your insurance is going to go up," Rosendo said.

    There's reason for concern. 

    It's been four years since reforms were put into place with promises that auto insurance premiums would go down. Florida drivers pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country. Instead the NBC 6 Investigators found premiums have gone up.

    The 2012 reform package, signed by Gov. Rick Scott, came with a plan to stamp out rampant fraud in Florida's no-fault car insurance coverage known as PIP or Personal Injury Protection.

    Instead, records obtained from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation show overall premiums have increased 13 percent since January 2015. PIP premiums increased slightly more, 14 percent.

    *Click here to see how much specific insurers premiums changed*

    Kevin McCarty recently resigned as the Florida Insurance Commissioner. He is one official who has floated the idea of getting rid of PIP.

    "I think the reforms have not been as effective as they had hoped," McCarty said before leaving office. "I do think there's still fraud in the system and I'm not sure I could make the argument that PIP is worth saving."

    McCarty and the insurance industry blame premiums going up in part on an increase in crashes over the last two years in Florida. Data from Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows an 8.3 percent increase in crashes in 2014 and at least a 7.1 percent increase in 2015. 

    "The rate of accidents has gone up and it's gone up dramatically," said Jeanne Salvatore of the Insurance Information Institute, an industry group. "And that's why the cost of insurance has gone up."

    Still, insurers are taking in more in premiums than paying out. This information provided by the Office of Insurance Regulation shows drivers paid $9.9 billion in PIP Premiums in the last three years, while insurers paid out just over $6 billion.

    Year       PIP premiums      Direct losses 

    2011      $2.8 billion             $2.7 billion

    2012      $3.3 billion             $2.3 billion

    2013      $3.5 billion             $1.8 billion

    2014      $3.224 billion         $1.943 billion

    2015      $3.164 billion         $2.341 billion

    Not every state requires PIP like Florida. In the last few years, there have been unsuccessful attempts to repeal PIP. 

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