As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, a Florida House of Representatives committee has approved a bill that would significantly change the state’s no-fault auto insurance program by requiring auto policies to cover only emergency treatment received within 72 hours of an accident.
Florida Governor Rick Scott and CFO Jeff Atwater are behind Florida personal injury protection (PIP) reforms, pushing hard to see changes take place this year.
On January 25, Governor Scott held a press conference, during which he worked to gain support for PIP reform by alleging that Florida’s no-fault insurance system encourages fraud and abuse, resulting in high insurance premiums for the state’s citizens.
It is easy to see, however, that insurance companies would receive the greatest benefit if such reforms go through, as they would be off the hook for covering many legitimate injury claims.
The bill also expands insurers’ authority to conduct broad examinations of physicians and staff under oath. Under the current system, no-fault PIP laws require Florida drivers to purchase an insurance policy of at least $10,000 to cover personal injuries.
With minimum coverage, policy holders may recover financial losses from their insurance company in the event of an accident, regardless of fault, up to their policy limit.
Even with the PIP system, insurance companies look for ways to underpay on claims, for that is how they make a profit. The proposed reforms will allow insurers to avoid paying on even more claims.
In the last session, plaintiffs’ attorneys joined together with consumer groups, doctors, chiropractors, and other medical professionals to stop changes to the PIP system.
Challenging the proposed reforms is not an easy task, as insurance companies are one of the largest financial supporters of the lawmakers in Tallahassee.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in an auto accident, do not let insurance companies take advantage of you. Seek advice and counsel from an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer at Fetterman & Associates – The Law Team at (888) 819-4770. We can help you protect your rights and obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
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