A recently released report issued by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) has found that the high number of fraud cases involving personal-injury protection (PIP) has decreased. Claims under PIP coverage have decreased overall, while claims in other areas such as uninsured motorist and bodily injury have gone up. Regionally, the largest drop in these claims were in the South Florida/Tampa area, according to FOIR’s press release. The consequences of this data will likely result in legislators’ avoidance in making any changes in the current law regarding PIP, which was created to help reduce high cases of fraud in the state’s “no-fault” auto insurance system.
House Bill 119
Prior to the passage of House Bill 119 (HB 119), which was enacted in 2013, PIP fraud and staged collisions reported made the forecasted cost of PIP unsustainable. HB 119 authorized the Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) of the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to establish a direct-support organization to combat motor vehicle fraud. Specifically, the organization’s purpose would be to prosecute, investigate, and prevent auto insurance fraud. The DIF is tasked with investing auto insurance fraud. According to its data, released in the FOIR report, since the implementation of HB 119, PIP fraud has significantly decreased (approximately 13 percent) and it is projected to continue in the future years.
Under HB 119, the data put together was required to address the following:
- type or nature of claimants;
- quantity of PIP claims;
- type and quantity of medical benefits;
- charges for medical benefits;
- direct earned premiums for PIP coverage;
- pure loss ratio, pure premiums and other premium-related information;
- attorneys fees relating to pursuing and defending actions for benefits;
- fraud and enforcement; and
- licensed drivers and auto accidents.
Florida: A No-Fault State
Under Florida’s no-fault apparatus, when there’s an auto-accident with injuries, regardless of who caused the accident, each party’s own insurer will pay a portion of their insured’s accrued medical bills and/or lost wages. PIP pays approximately 80% of each medical bill and approximately 60% of lost wages, up the insured’s policy limit. The remaining balances, unpaid medical bills, and lost wages which are not paid by PIP are damages sought to be recovered from the at-fault party.
Several states had no-fault insurance mandates on the books until the 1970s, when some elected to repeal these laws. Currently, 12 states in the union in addition to Puerto Rico require no-fault auto insurance. Florida is a no-fault state, as are Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah.
Auto Accident Help in Florida
Auto accidents can be stressful. Beyond property damage, often there is temporary or permanent physical damage and sometimes even psychological consequences. Accordingly, if you or someone you care about has been injured in an auto accident – regardless of who is to blame for the crash – contact a seasoned and compassionate Florida auto accident attorney. The legal professionals at Reed & Reed aggressively advocate on behalf of clients and seek compensation which is owed. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.