In Florida, the new PIP (personal injury protection) law was implemented in 1972 and stated that the named insured and all resident relatives are to be covered under the PIP coverage of your policy. Resident relatives are not required to be listed drivers on the policy for coverage to apply. The required limits for each individual is $10,00 and is paid out for 80% of medical related costs, 60% for missed work, and $5,000 in case of a fatality.
However, in October of 2007 the PIP law expired, having a significant impact on Florida drivers that were involved in an auto accident as they no longer had medical coverage from injuries regardless of fault. In January 1, 2008 the PIP bill was reinstated due to battles between insurance companies, doctors and lawyers.
Florida’s New PIP Law has resulted in significant abuse and fraud and is estimated to have cost $1.4 billion since 2008. Florida ranks first nationally in staged accidents. The result has been continual increases in the PIP portion of car insurance over the years.
Governor Rick Scott’s goal for this year was to fight automobile insurance fraud and to lower rising automobile insurance costs in the hope of getting lower premiums for insureds. As of March 2012 a new PIP reform bill was passed. The legislation requires an accident victim to have treatment within 14 days of the accident and a certified physician, osteopathic physician chiropractic physician or a dentist has to determine that the insured has an “emergency medical condition” in order to receive the full $10,000 in PIP medical benefits. Otherwise, the PIP medical benefit is limited to only $2,500. In July 1, 2012 the bill will become a Florida law and in January 1, 2013 this law will become effective.
One might think that with this new law the auto premiums will be lower but there are many that question if this will really happen. They state that the PIP reform bill doesn’t guarantee a lower insurance premium given the fact that insurance companies can refuse the10% PIP insurance rate reduction if they give a written, detailed excuse. Also, it doesn’t eliminate accident clinics or dishonest referral services. The bill does not outlaw for profit referral services that direct victims to chiropractic and lawyers. If the physicians say that their patients have a medical emergency, they can use the entire $10,000 PIP benefit. The new PIP reform bill is an attempt to stop chiropractors and physicians from running up the bills. But, how to stop a doctor from deciding if patients have a medical emergency and need $10,000 worth of treatment?
So we ask you if you think that the new PIP reform bill failed to help Florida consumers. Please share your thoughts and insights with us.
To learn more about Florida’s New PIP Law, please contact us at DMG Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. (http://www.dmginsurance.com) at 543 N state Road 7, STE 106, Royal Palm Beach EL, 33411, phone 561 422 7071, Fax 561 422 7072.