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Understanding Recent Changes to Florida’s No-fault or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Law

Since 2013, significant changes have been made to your personal injury protection coverage (PIP). You are still required to carry the coverage, but the changes will restrict your ability to seek and obtain medical care after an accident.

New Time Limits in Seeking Treatment

Unlike the previous law, which provided for no particular time limit to seek treatment following an accident, the new law gives you only 14 days to seek treatment. If you do not see a doctor during that timeframe, you will lose the ability to use your PIP coverage for any necessary treatment. That makes it critical to consult with your doctor and our law firm promptly if you are injured in any way.

Changes in Coverage and Treatment Options

While you will continue to be required to carry and pay insurance premiums for a full $10,000 of PIP coverage, in certain situations you may only be entitled up to a $2,500 reduced benefit. The new law requires you have a determination of an “emergency medical condition” to access your full $10,000 benefit. It also restricts who is allowed to make that determination, possibly discriminating against your own doctor! Surprisingly, the law no longer requires your insurance company to pay for massage therapy and acupuncture. This law is being challenged and we will update you soon. 

What to Do if Your Insurance Company Stops Payment At $2,500

Hopefully, you avoided this situation by talking with your doctor and consulting with our office. If not, and your insurance company is denying further PIP coverage, we may be able to take legal action on your behalf. We would certainly help you with obtaining medical treatment that would be covered by insurance so that your injuries may be promptly addressed.

Impact to Your Insurance Premiums

While the Legislature’s stated goal of these benefit reductions is to attack fraud and reduce costs, (as it is the excuse with almost every attempt to change the laws in favor the insurance company), there is no requirement in the new law to reduce your rates! Insurance companies were asked to consider a 10% reduction in premiums by late 2012, but most chose not to comply. Be careful and shop around, we are actually seeing insurance rates rise since the law went into effect even though this law can reduce your PIP benefits by 75%! The excuse, costs and fraud are still on the rise…sound familiar?

What You Can Do

For more information or complaints visit The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s website.

To file a complaint online got to https:apps.fldfs.com/eservice

To voice your concerns to your elected representative in the Florida Legislature go to http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Find to determine who represents you in both the House and Senate in Tallahassee

You can even contact Governor Rick Scott at 850-488-7146.

Source: www.nofaultinfo.com and Florida Statute §627.736.