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
Last 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.