Articles Tagged with “Personal Injury Protection”

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Just because you have purchased an insurance policy with ample bodily injury coverage for your vehicles does not mean that you are adequately protected in the event that you become involved in a car accident. This is because bodily injury coverage pays out only if you cause an accident and injure somebody else.

If, however, you are struck and injured by another driver, you would at that point be at the mercy of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy for purposes of paying for your medical bills and lost wages, if need be. And that’s if the at-fault driver even has insurance to begin with. In fact, Florida ranks among the top states in terms of the number of uninsured or under-insured motorists on our roads. Therefore, it is all the more important that drivers purchase uninsured motorist coverage to protect you and your family in the event that you are injured in a car accident.

A 2014 study by the Insurance Research Council found the appalling truth: In Florida, 1 out of 4 people (23.8%) involved in a vehicle accident does not have insurance. Only Oklahoma ranks higher with 25.9%. In raw numbers, this means there are 3.2 million vehicles in Florida without insurance. Practically speaking, if you are involved in an accident, there is a 1 out of 4 chance that you will have to rely solely on your own insurance policy in order to repair your car, but most importantly, to treat for your physical injuries – and that does not even begin to address your claim for personal injury, which includes past and future pain and suffering.

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Florida law provides that every car insurance company must provide $10,000 in PIP benefits to its insured – Florida Statute 627.736(1). For the past few years, the Florida legislator has made multiple attempts to reform the use of Personal Injury Protection benefits, and prevent further abuse, n order to continue the crackdown on PIP claims fraud which are at an all-time high.

How do PIP benefits work?

When a person is involved in a car accident, and sustains an injury that requires any kind of medical treatment, that person’s car insurance will reimburse (at an established rate) the medical bills incurred to treat them. Through PIP, car insurance companies are required to pay for medical treatment (as well as lost wages if applicable), up to $10,000. Once the PIP benefits are exhausted, the insured becomes responsible to pay for their own medical bills, either through their own private health insurance or out of pocket if they are uninsured.

PIP Fraud claims skyrocketing in Florida

Division of Insurance Fraud.jpgLast April, the Office of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer released staggering numbers indicative of a systemic-induced fraud. In the fiscal year 2010/2011, the Division of Insurance Fraud investigated 13,452 cases of insurance fraud, which ultimately resulted in 997 arrests and 804 convictions. In only one year, Florida Courts have ordered restitution amounting to more than $156 million to defrauded insurance companies.

The Florida Division of Insurance Fraud regularly issues a newsletter “The PIP Source” which summarizes the latest scams and arrests in PIP fraud cases. The latest edition can be downloaded here.
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