Statement from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater on the Signing of HB 119 Auto Insurance Reforms for Florida’s Drivers
Contact: Anna Alexopoulos
TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today released the following statement regarding Governor Rick Scott’s signing of HB 119, which aims to reforms to Florida’s broken personal injury protection (PIP) system by targeting staged accident fraud, strengthening billing practices so appropriate services are provided to those who need care, tightening requirements for clinic ownership and providing rate relief for Florida’s consumers.
A report released in November by Insurance Consumer Advocate (ICA) Robin Westcott, appointed by CFO Atwater, highlighted the need for reforms through concrete and meaningful data. According to the ICA’s report, the frequency of crashes declined 12 percent between 2005 to 2010 while the payment on PIP claims increased 66 percent during the same period.
“With the signing of this bill today, Florida will release the chokehold that fraud has on Florida’s insurance consumers. I commend Gov. Scott for signing this important piece of legislation and for his tireless work to ensure that we pass significant reforms to protect our fellow Floridians.
“The road to reform was a long and challenging one. Rep. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) and Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) were both vital to the success of these reforms. I congratulate these leaders and the entire Florida Legislature today for recognizing that consumers no longer can afford inaction on PIP. I’m eager to start seeing the positive impacts of this bill in the form of future rate relief for Florida’s consumers.”
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away capital, and ensuring transparency and accountability in spending.