Florida vehicle insurance providers had until October 1 to show they had decreased rates by 10 percent or more. Those companies which could not meet the 10 percent decrease mandated by the state must explain why in writing and have a verified cause.

The move is all part of legislators attempts to slow the gradual increase in state automobile insurance rates and start to roll back what had been a regular series of rate increases caused, some say, by wildly inaccurate PIP (personal injury protection) laws.

PIP reforms will largely take effect Jan. 1. According to the press release, these changes will provide the full $10,000 for medical emergencies only, and those needing non-emergency treatment will have a limit of $2,500. The laws will also exclude massage therapy and acupuncture as treatment options.

On average Florida drivers should see a reduction of about $30 per year. That might not seem like much but the added benefit is that rates are much less likely to continue their gradual climb. This has been happening at a steady pace in the Sunshine state and many people, consumers and consumer advocates, said a change was needed before the burden became too much.

In fact, even many Florida automobile insurance providers said the change was needed because higher rates were causing many people to avoid buying more than the bare minimum coverage. This hurt their bottom line as much as much as the high PIP rates hurt consumers. By being able to provide a decrease in rates, and a plan for keeping those rates from consistently climbing higher the Florida legislature found a way to help consumers and the insurance industry at the same.

Or so they hope. It will take at least a year before anyone will know exactly how much help the new PIP rules provided for consumers and perhaps even longer before we know if the decrease in rates helped insurance providers sell more insurance. But many conclude that one or another the move will benefot at least one group if not the other.