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EDITORIAL: Lawmakers Have Enough Ideas to Craft a Solution ? Albeit an Imperfect on ? to PIP

Sep 7, 2007

By South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Sep. 8--ISSUE: Car insurance law set to sunset.

The special session has been delayed, but there's still reason for lawmakers to trek up to Tallahassee and deal with a looming hole in auto insurance.

On Oct. 1, the law forcing drivers to carry personal injury protection, or no-fault, is set to expire. Most knowledgeable, reasonable people in Florida understand that eliminating this requirement -- at least without replacing it with something -- is potentially a really bad idea.

Florida drivers are -- how shall we put it? -- courtesy-challenged. And many tourists don't have the best road skills, either, create a demolition derby on our roads. That's why the Legislature paased the no-fault law in the first place three decades ago.

It must be understood that PIP is a flawed program. It is rife with fraud, costing consumers plenty, and that's why it's set to expire soon.

If there were no other alternative, no other option, then Florida drivers would have no other choice but to grab the wheel and hope for the best whenever they ventured onto the interstate and the roadways. But there are alternatives, and in the next 22 days, lawmakers have time to come to consensus on something that's better than nothing.

One possibility is mandating bodily injury coverage, which many drivers already possess, an idea floated by state Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, and others. Another bill, crafted by state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, offers much more comprehensive changes.

Neither idea is perfect. Each has its detractors. But each has elements that are better than nothing, and lawmakers ought to be able to cobble enough sensible measures together to produce a stopgap.

BOTTOM LINE: There are enough ideas to craft a solution, albeit imperfect.

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Copyright (c) 2007, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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