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DUBING THE MID-1960'S, the growing dissatisfaction with automobile insurance found a sympathetic ear in Washington. Complaints poured into congressional offices and, as a result of consumer demands for investigation, Congress mandated that the Department of Transportation undertake a study of the entire automobile insurance system. The final report, a massive twenty-three volumes, looks into every facet, ranging from public attitudes toward automobile insurance practices to government regulation of the industry. Drawing upon these studies, DOT, in March of 1971, came out with a final report, a blueprint for automobile insurance reform, calling for first-party insurance and no-fault.
The automobile insurance battle is opening a second front. In addition to fault versus no-fault, the latest issue is state versus federal control. The DOT report is clearly in favor of reform on a state-by-state basis and urges that each state take on a cautious attitude, so that warning signs on the virtues and shortcomings of the new no-fault systems can be heeded and reform stopped and redirected where necessary. A national plan administered by a new federal agency is not considered. The department favors a state- regulated no-fault first-party coverage to provide compensation for economic losses of all descriptions. Cost reduction for the consumer is achieved by the emphasis on coordination of benefits, the use of deductibles that make the victim a self-insurer, and the termination of the adversary system as the principal method of determining who will receive automobile insurance compensation. The right to sue is retained for only the most severe cases.
For more info, please visit the website of the <a title="> Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
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