Media Information Session on HB 119 Relating to Motor Vehicle Insurance

Jan 23, 2012


A press information session regarding committee substitute for House Bill 119 (CS/HB 119), Motor Vehicle Insurance, was held today.  The information session was led by Florida House staff member, Tom Cooper. 

Mr. Cooper briefly overviewed the proposed bill language that would alter the current Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law. He stated the bill would retain a no-fault system; however, the proposed language alters what services are covered and focuses the mandatory coverage to “emergency services and care.”

The bill adds the definitions of “emergency services and care” and “emergency medical condition” to limit the type of mandatory coverage the law would provide for, narrows the time limits for receiving the care, and identifies who is authorized to render such services.  The bill also authorizes an insurer to toll the 30-day period for payment as long as the insurer has a reasonable belief that a fraudulent act has been committed and reports its suspicions to the Division of Insurance Fraud for further investigation.

The bill also attempts to resolve current litigation issues by clarifying and redefining a fee schedule.  In addition, the bill seeks to make examinations under oath mandatory and provides that compliance is a condition precedent to recovery of benefits.  Another provision of the bill permits the insurer to conduct an onsite examination of the treatment location, treatment apparatuses, diagnostic devices, and any other medical equipment.

The last bill provision Mr. Cooper reviewed related to attorney’s fees.  The new provisions would cap the amount of fees an attorney would be entitled to receive based on the disputed amounts.  It also eliminates the contingency multiplier and caps fees for class action proceedings.

The floor was then opened for media questions.  The only media question requested that Mr. Cooper compare the current House bill to the Senate version.  Mr. Cooper stated at this time he had not properly reviewed the Senate bill and was not prepared to compare the two bills.

The staff handed out a flier from the Office of Public Information, which is attached to this report.


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