Florida PIP Insurance Challenged By Lawmakers Again
Insurance is something that is designed to protect those who have it, at least to some degree. But in Florida, motorists have long been dealing with a type of auto insurance that seems to be set up to work against them when they are injured in an accident.
That could all change soon, as Senator Tom Lee just filed a bill to repeal the current no-fault system and replace it with a more standard type of insurance coverage. While PIP insurance has been challenged by lawmakers in the past, many opponents of the no-fault insurance finally believe that the time has come for PIP to be on its way out.
PIP coverage was first put into place in the 1970s and had good intentions initially. The idea behind PIP is fairly straightforward - each driver in Florida is required to carry PIP coverage, and when injured in an accident it is their own insurance that pays for their medical treatment after the accident, not the insurance of the other party. This applies even if the other party is clearly to blame for the accident.
However, in order to even receive restitution, drivers currently must meet various requirements - visiting a medical professional within 7 days, following guidelines on which medical professionals can be reached, and more. This creates a difficult, infuriating system that is hard for the average Florida resident to maneuver through during their recovery. And that complexity and hassle are only a few of the problems inherent in PIP.
Over time, the overall value of PIP has steadily declined and today it has led to an increased insurance premiums that continue to rise. In fact, it's estimated that changing to another system could reduce costs for Florida consumers by as much as $1 billion each year. In other words, removing PIP coverage could help everyone in the state save money.
Those injured in an accident will quickly realize that the value they get for their money at the moment isn't what it should be, either. PIP coverage is often rife with fraud, and in particular, it seems designed to make it easier for motorists who are responsible for an accident to get away from that responsibility entirely. Since PIP coverage pays for an injured party's bills, the responsible driver isn't impacted as much by their actions.
Along with this, the fact also remains that many struggle to get the compensation they need from their PIP provider. Thresholds of maximum payouts are often low, and just getting the insurance company to offer some level of help can be problematic.
The Future Of Coverage
PIP isn't gone just yet, but its end could be on the horizon. With lawmakers already working towards repealing it, it's likely that the replacement option will be a system set up more like that in other states, where a driver's auto insurance provides coverage to protect themselves as well as other drivers if they're responsible for an accident.
Currently, however, those in the state will still have to carry PIP coverage until the changes are made - if they are. In these cases, seeking out a personal injury lawyer is the only real way to get any kind of help with their situation. PIP coverage often denies payouts, and seeking compensation from them or from those who have acted recklessly nor negligently is the only path to financial recovery following an accident.
In the future this could change, and hopefully Florida residents will have new options available to them soon. Until then, those injured in an accident on Florida roads will want to remember to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as they can following an accident. It may be their only path to financial stability.