Legislator Targets Auto Insurance Fraud During Opening Day of Florida Session

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has made no secret of his plan. He wants to reform the state’s personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance which requires every driver in Florida to have $10,000 in auto insurance to cover medical bills in case they are injured in a car crash. PIP goes back to 1972 and was intended to get a person medical benefits following an auto accident no matter who was at fault. But this is 2012 and some have seen PIP as a way to earn a fast $10,000 by staging accidents and fraudulently claiming injuries and lost wages.

Florida auto accident attorneys understand the reality that PIP still provides a safety net to keep some people afloat following an auto accident while traditional insurance may not.

Gov. Scott has been joined in his mission to overturn PIP by state Sen. Joe Negron who on Monday, January 9, filed a bill- SB 1860. The bill targets fraud which the Associated Press reports costs Floridians $1 billion every year. Some insured drivers who live in high fraud areas are paying several hundred dollars more in insurance premiums due to PIP fraud, according to the report.

SB 1860 would give hospitals the first chance at taking care of a PIP accident victim instead of clinics that are sometimes involved in the fraud. Some pain clinics with questionable practices would face losing their license. A recent Miami-Dade County investigation found regulatory violations in the majority of the 49 pain clinics visited. Among them, some clinics bill for medical services but have never seen a patient.

Stay tuned for changes to PIP during the 60-day legislative session.

Source: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/09/2581177/sen-negron-files-bill-targeting.html