A reminder

I wrote about this not long ago, but I think it bears repeating. Please call or write your state Representatives and Senators and ask them to renew Florida's no-fault insurance law. If it doesn't happen in the next six weeks, it'll expire. Today's Sun-Sentinel has a good Q&A on the subject. Here are the key portions from my perspective.

What happens if I am hit by an uninsured driver?

A. There are an estimated 770,000 uninsured cars in Florida, including more than 150,000 in Broward and more than 101,000 in Palm Beach County. Your auto insurance company would pay for repairs to your vehicle while your auto insurance and your health insurance should cover your injuries. You may want to consult your insurance agent about purchasing additional coverage for accident-related injuries and lawsuits. Even with such expanded coverage, State Farm asserted in its state-approved rate filing that its customers will see a 16 percent across-the-board drop in rates once no-fault is gone. However, consumer groups have raised questions about the purported savings. They claim the savings could drop if drivers purchase expanded coverage.

Q. How will uninsured drivers get medical treatment if they can't pay for it themselves?

A. Hospitals warn they could be faced with at least $350 million a year in added costs to pay for medical care to uninsured drivers. Those costs could be shifted onto people who do have health insurance, likely increasing premiums. And local hospitals funded by property taxes may have to seek higher taxes.

The best you can hope for if no-fault expires is a 16% decrease in rates. For me--and I'll readily admit that I'm not the typical driver--that adds up to about 9 bucks a month at best. But do the math yourself. How much is 16% on your car insurance really going to save you, especially if you have to worry about uninsured drivers on the road?

State Farm and the other big auto insurers in this state want an end to no-fault because they can make more money in both the short term and the long term without it. They're not looking out for your best interests. Your legislators are supposed to be. Contact them and tell them to do their jobs.

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