There was a lot of debate over the change to PIP laws in Florida when changes were made in 2013. Sensing that there were potential issues with false insurance claims, Florida passed new reform measures on how PIP insurance worked in the state in an attempt to create fewer false accidents and false claims. In theory a drop in fraudulent claims and payouts would eventually result in less expensive insurance, as well.
What Were the Major Law Changes?
While there were many small alterations to how things work, there are two major changes that really stood out above and beyond all the others. The first was splitting up the payments by making them bifurcated. This means there were now two tiers of pay-outs instead of one. Emergency care was $10,000 in coverage but non-emergency care was cut down to a payment of $2,500. For staged accidents, this made the preferred method much less profitable.
The second change was forcing a quick turnaround on finding help. These amounts could only be claimed if the people involved in the accident reported for care within two weeks of the initial accident. This would prevent claims that came in weeks or even a month or more after the fact when it was a lot harder to pin down injuries and the exact accident being referenced.
These two changes together, in theory, would make it much harder to stage an accident and get a huge payout without having to get immediate and in-depth medical treatment.
What Are the Results?
According to an article in the Sun Sentinel, the early results actually look pretty good. The article reports that instances that appear to be intentionally caused accidents fell by over 50% going from 712 to 328. The number of claims filed for personal injury due to an auto accident and the number of dubious claims filed for the same thing have both fallen every year since those changes to the PIP laws went into effect. This gives some pretty strong hints that while the change in laws might not be responsible for all those numbers, they are definitely having an effect.
What's This Mean to You?
As long as your accident claim is legitimate, you have nothing to worry about. These changes weren't designed to push people away from making insurance claims or getting the treatment they need, but it's to make it harder to file completely false claims or get away with staged accidents.
You do need to make sure you abide by all the new rules, including getting medical treatment as quickly as possible and making sure to file your claim within that two week period. As long as you follow this process you shouldn't have any problems. The good news is that it does appear that PIP insurance rates will be plateauing out or even going down because of the drop in claims.
These trends also mean legitimate accident victims who have a personal injury case will be all the more convincing when they have to go to court to get the coverage or compensation due to them.
These laws have made for some very positive changes. Not only have instances of fraud been cut down, but this also makes it easier on those who genuinely need treatment and have personal injury cases. As less and less instances of fraud get through, over time there will be more of a shift to reflect the idea that cases are more likely to have a legitimate issue behind them. It's to everyone's benefit to see this type of movement in the fake car crash reports.