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Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate’s Update Supporting Urgent Need for PIP Reform

Press Release

March 8, 2012

TALLAHASSEE – The Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate has reviewed the latest data reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on March 1, 2012 and finds that Florida’s 2011 PIP losses continued to escalate at the same alarming rate that occurred in 2009 and 2010. Direct variable costs for PIP in Florida increased by another 20% in 2011, compared to 2010. This equates to an 81% increase from the end of 2008 through 2011. In dollars, this represents an increase of over $1.4 billion in PIP costs since 2008. We have referred to this as a “fraud and abuse tax” because we are not aware of any reason other than fraud and unnecessary increased medical utilization driving these costs, given that the accident rate continues to decrease and that medical inflation has been relatively modest.

For every dollar of PIP premium in 2011, insurers incurred costs of $1.18 (excluding overhead expenses). The pressure on insurers to increase PIP premiums will continue unabated absent serious reform and the insurance consumers of Florida will continue to suffer.

The Insurance Consumer Advocate is appointed by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and is committed to finding solutions to insurance issues facing Floridians, calling attention to questionable insurance practices, promoting a viable insurance market responsive to the needs of Florida’s diverse population and assuring that rates are fair and justified.