Recent changes to Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Law

Sat, May 12, 2012

General Legal Issues

Recent changes to Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) LawFlorida is a no-fault state when it comes to motor vehicle insurance. Thus, Florida requires its drivers to purchase $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection as part of their insurance package. Then, if an insured is in an accident, they will receive money (if qualified) towards injuries no matter who is at fault. (This insurance usually is also valid when the insured driver is a pedestrian, biking, or a passenger in another vehicle.)

This personal injury protection legislation was enacted in the 1970s as a way to help protect drivers. The idea was that the insured could get money to help them get better faster, rather than waiting on bodily injury claims or possibly not receiving monetary help at all.

The PIP laws have often come under fire by many groups. Some feel it is an unnecessary cost and some feel it is causing rampant insurance fraud. Florida is often ranked as Number 1 in insurance fraud because of the massive amounts of personal injury claims that are filed. There are rumors of staged accidents and injuries just to receive insurance funds. Then there is the talk of healthcare professionals who contribute to the fraud with over-billing or phantom billing.

These problems caused Governor Rick Scott to vow that he would help solve this insurance crisis. On May 4, 2012 he signed legislation that is supposed to help curb personal injury insurance fraud.

The main changes to the PIP legislation include what types of doctors you can see for injuries, the time limit you have to report injuries, and the amount of some benefits. It also excludes massage and acupuncture as services that insurance companies have to pay for. The new changes are not without their critics, so the coming months will show how well the new law works.

SmithLaw previously wrote another post on Florida’s motor vehicle requirements. It helps detail other coverages that are required for Florida law.

Image credit: a.drian

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