Florida Passes New PIP Bill

The Floirida legislature has finally come to an agreement on personal injury protection law in Florida, also known as PIP. Under the compromise hammered out Thursday and Friday, the House agreed to allow up to $10,000 for emergency service coverage as determined by a physician, osteopath, dentist, physician's assistant or registered nurse practitioner. Visits to chiropractors would be covered up to $2,500 for certain types of injuries, but would require a referral from one of the other health care providers for others. Acupuncturists and massage therapists would no longer be covered by PIP. That was a concession for the House, which originally wanted initial care to take place only at a hospital or emergency room and later amended its plan to allow private physician visits with a coverage limit of $2,500.

The compromise bill also would require patients to seek care within two weeks of a crash, a concession from the House's original seven-day requirement. The compromise also does not include a cap on attorneys fees as the House originally wanted.

Further the deal would require insurers to roll back rates 10 percent by October and 25 percent by Jan. 1., 2014, or else give a "detailed explanation" to insurance regulators for why the rates were not reduced. The Senate had sought an immediate 25 percent rate reduction.

The bill also would require insurance companies to notify claimants within 30 days if they suspect fraud, and gives the companies another 60 days to investigate. One of the more controversial parts of the deal would require those whose claims are being investigated to submit to examinations under oath if their insurance companies ask. So can we expect insurance companies to "roll back rates"? I seriously doubt it because pip is not a significant part of most policy premiums anyway. My rates for pip are about $300 which is only 22% of my $1600 annual premium. I am not sure where the citizens of Florida will benefit from lower rates on PIP, and it appears that the only ones that will benefit are the insurance companies. The benefits under PIP for the citizens of Florida just got reduced significantly and I would not expect any reduction in pip premiums. The insurance industry lobby was behind this pip bill and apparently sitting in the gallery anxiously awaiting the passage of the bill. Good luck citizens of Florida.

For more information or a free consultation on your legal issue contact The Law Offices of Charles D. Scott PLLC, your injury law and family law attorneys, at 727-300-4878. http://www.yourstpetelawyers.com

 

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