January 23, 2015

WalletHub this month ranked all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., on riskiest places for drivers’ wallets. Florida came in at No. 1. A key factor: Nearly 1 in 4 cars on the road here are totally uninsured, WalletHub found.

A key reason is that insurance costs so much — significantly more here than it does in most other states. Bankrate.com reports that drivers in Florida spent $1,124 on average per year for insurance, based on recent data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That was 27 percent more than the U.S. average.

At least part of the blame is due to Florida’s requirement that motorists carry no-fault PIP insurance. It’s responsible for as much as 20 percent of consumers’ auto insurance bills.

Meanwhile, some hospitals have been accused of exploiting the coverage, charging absurd prices for routine imaging tests — prices they’d never be able to charge Medicare, for example. A Palm Beach Gardens attorney, Ted Leopold with Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, is suing HCA hospitals for PIP-related overcharges it puts at four to seven times Medicare rates.

The complete article can be accessed at The Palm Beach Post.