Personal Injury Protection Insurance Likely to Continue
On January 1, 2013, a program was implemented in Florida to stop and ultimately reduce the amount of fraud in personal injury protection, or PIP. And according to a report released from the state Office of Insurance Regulation, the program is working. With the evidence showing the success of the program and the halt of the fraud, it appears unlikely that the state’s legislators will change the laws any time soon.
In the Office of Insurance Regulation report that was released, it was found that since the law went into place in 2013, there has been a drop in not only the number of personal injury protection claims field, but also dollars sought. However, the report does indicate that claims under coverage types, such as bodily injury and uninsured motorists, have gone up. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater hopes that the legislators focus on the positives of the reports and give the program time to progress and continue to reduce fraud in the state’s “no-fault” auto insurance system.
Florida’s No-Fault System
The state of Florida currently follows a no-fault system in regards to accidents and insurance. Under the no-fault system, motorists in Florida are required to carry personal-injury protection coverage that includes at least $10,000 in medical benefits. The program also requires that people who are involved in automobile crashes to seek treatment within 14 days of the crash. They are allowed up to $10,000 in benefits for emergency medical conditions, and a cap is set at $2,500 for non-emergency conditions.
Pushing to Keep No-Fault Insurance
The program for personal injury protection was considered a somewhat last-ditch effort to maintain the no-fault system in Florida. The law set benchmarks for insurers to lower rates in coverage. In fact, according to the Office of Insurance Regulation, before the 2013 law was enacted, the average Florida motorist was paying approximately $1800 a year for the personal injury protection portion of their auto coverage. According to a recent estimate, the state agency states that the average Florida motorist is now paying a no-fault annual payment of around $1250 a year, more than a savings of $50 per month. Advocates for the 2013 law say that many of the high costs were a result of the fraud involving personal injury claims that raised the auto insurance costs, something that law is made to help correct.
Getting Rid of No-Fault
Many politicians believe that it is just a matter of time before Florida will get rid of no-fault insurance in the state. If the state goes back to bodily injury insurance, coverage will be provided if a motorist causes an accident that hurts someone else. This would put more questions of medical coverage into the hands of the courts, and there would ultimately be a rise in cases of injured parties suing at-fault drivers in order to recover not only damages, but also expenses. Many argue that parts of the no-fault system are unconstitutional and that at this time there are apparently several cases going through the Florida legal system that may end up in the Supreme Court and ultimately force the Court to determine the legality of the law.
Do You Need Help? Contact Us Today
Insurance and the legal process can be very complicated and confusing. If you have been involved in an accident and need help, contact an attorney today. The Fort Lauderdale lawyers at Boone & Davis have years of experience working with auto accidents, personal injury cases, and insurance companies. We will work for you to help guide you through this confusing time and fight to get you the justice and compensation that you deserve.