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Welcome to 2013. All of the automobile insurance policies in the state of Florida have changed

In the mail everyone should be receiving from their carriers, such as State Farm, Geico, Progressive, Allstate, Auto Owners Insurance Company, Nationwide. All of these carriers and the ones not mentioned will be sending notices informing their customers of the change in the law. These notices will be nondescript in nature that they won’t seem very important.

The reason they will be sent in this nondescript form is that the insurance carriers that provide automobile insurance in the state of Florida, want the consumers to ignore this letter. Florida requires a driver to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage designed to cover his own medical costs, even if he is at fault. But now after January 1, 2013, the consumer has quite a few more hurdles to jump through to get these benefits, benefits that the state of Florida requires we purchase or these benefits will be forfeited.

 

PIP changes

Under the guise of curbing fraud, the rules are changing for Florida drivers under their Personal Injury Protection insurance coverage.

For new policies or those renewing after January 1, 2013:

* To qualify for the full $10,000 benefit, treatment must be by ambulance or at a

hospital, or from a physician, dentist, supervised physician’s assistant or advance

    registered nurse practitioner.

* Treatment must begin within 14 days.

* Nonemergency benefits limited to $2,500.

* No massage or acupuncture.

* Benefits can be denied if the insured refuses to be examined under oath about

information relevant to the claim.

* Insurers can take 90 days instead of 30 to review claims they suspect of fraud.

 

The new law is designed to reduce the amount insurers pay out for fraud and staged accidents. In return, it requires insurers to cut PIP rates 10 percent effective January 1, 2013 and 25 percent by 2014 or tell regulators why not. The promised savings has not materialized and no explanation has been offered.

The law change did nothing to increase the number of prosecutors and law enforcement personnel assigned to fight fraud. It has always been law enforcement that is going to get criminals off the street and discourage fraud. By changing the law, the fraudsters find a way around it, but consumers give up major benefits which they have been required by law to pay for.

 The answer: if you’re in a car accident go to a doctor within 14 days of the accident

 

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