South Florida has seen a drastic drop in overall personal injury protection claims, and leads the state in terms of the reduction of reported incidents including sever bodily injury. The severity of accidents with bodily injury has also been greatly reduced between 2010 and 2014. Despite the decline, South Florida still leads the state in personal injury protection claims; especially those involving severe bodily injury with uninsured drivers. While numbers like these indicate progress, they pave the road-map for future concerns and ways to improve safety.
According to statistic released by Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation, the southern region of the Sunshine State, which includes the Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties, saw an overall decrease of one percentage point of personal injury protection frequency per 100 vehicles. That’s a drop from just over 3.5 to fewer than 2.5 in a matter of four years. The Office of Insurance Regulation hopes the report will assist in the creation of new laws, but had indicated that the data is still immature and needs time to be verified. For instance, many of these numbers would be expected to rise over time as the claims mature.
In order to better address area specific legislation and for the purposes of the study, the agency split the state into six regions– South Florida, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Southwest Florida, Central Florida, Northeast Florida, and the Panhandle. The study, which was released on Jan. 1 of this year, is an effort to help the state combat fraud and better articulate the need for specific safety and insurance legislation. Reports released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau have indicated that since 2009 the State of Florida has led the nation in fraudulent and/or questionable claims.
The Miami-Dade area wasn’t the only one to see a decrease. In fact, the entire state of Florida showed declining numbers; although in differing degrees. The Tampa/St. Petersburg region was in a close second reporting steady decline in personal injury protection insurance claims, from 2.75 per 100 vehicles to approximately 2.0 per 100 vehicles over a similar time frame. The report also indicated an overall drop in medical expenses payouts statewide.