Florida Governor Charlie Crist isn't exactly a friend to the insurance industry — his support for maintaining artificially low rates for coastal property insurance rates have driven State Farm and others from the state. However, his signature this week on a bill prohibiting "crash taxes" was a smart move.


In May we featured an article by PCI's William Stander on the pernicious trend of cash-strapped local governments charging drivers involved in accidents and their insurers for providing emergency response services, with bills ranging from less than $100 to more than $4,000. While this is obviously a problem for the drivers and insurers, it's also bad news for the agents who have to explain the hidden charges to their policyholders — who already pay for this stuff through their taxes. And with so many states and municipalities hard hit by the recession, the trend was growing.


Florida's move to end the "accident tax" makes it the eighth state to do so. It's a smart move for someone with political ambition who recognizes that this might not be a good time to ask hard-hit Florida taxpayers — almost 10 percent of whom don't have jobs.

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