Legislators passed a bill last spring pushing for Personal Injury Protection insurance reform. At the time, Governor Rick Scott signed the bill, saying insurance rates would go down.
He gave insurers until October 1st to come back with the new rates.
"They've got to come back and look at the rates, and they've got to reduce the rates 10 percent, or they've got to show us that the bill didn't work," Scott said back in May.
Now, the deadline is here. Insurers filed their rates with the Office of Insurance Regulation on Monday. But it's not what many had hoped for: most of the rates have not gone down. In fact, some have gone up.
Most insurers say they can't reduce rates, at least not yet.
Lynne McChristian is with the Insurance Information Institute, a non-profit that is supported by the major insurers. She says rates can't go down now, because nothing in the bill that affects rates has been implemented yet.
It doesn't start until January 1st.
"When January hits, when the treatment options change, when the coverage is handled differently, that's when it'll make a difference in the claims costs," she said.
McChristian says it's unclear why the law was written with the October deadline, knowing the majority of the bill wouldn't begin until the first of the year.
"The deadline was sort of putting the cart before the horse," she said.
McChristian said until companies actually see if the new bill actually reduces fraudulent claims, they won't reduce premiums.
Some lawmakers who supported the bill have said that wasn't the intent. They believe the bill will reduce fraud, significantly giving more profits to the insurance companies. So they want the insurers to pass on the savings to drivers now.
McChristian says fraud could still be happening while some try to make money before the new rules go into effect.
"It'll be months before we know if those reforms went far enough to reduce the cost of auto insurance. They haven't started yet," she said.
But it's not even a guarantee once the bill goes into effect. The PIP only makes up 20 percent of your entire insurance bill.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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