In January of this year, Florida made a major change to its Personal Injury Protection law. Florida law has for some time, required all drivers to carry $10,000.00 in personal injury protection benefits as part of a Florida automobile insurance policy. The purpose of these benefits is to pay for a portion or all of each person’s medical bills following an automobile accident. The Florida Legislature, following lobbying by the insurance industry, decided the general public was abusing their personal injury protection benefits. The new changes to the law limit the very PIP benefits you pay a monthly premium for, by requiring you to see a medical doctor, physician, osteopath, dentist, physician’s assistant or registered nurse practitioner, within the first 14 days after the accident. One of these types of treators must then diagnose you with an “emergency condition”. If you do not receive a diagnosis from one of these types of practitioners WITHIN 14 DAYS you will receive NO PIP BENEFITS. If you are not diagnosed with an “emergency condition” then your insurance company is only required to provide you with $2,500.00 of PIP benefits. If you need chiropractic treatment, then you must have a prescription from one of the above mentioned types of treators. Massage therapy and acupuncture is no longer covered under the new PIP law. In short, under Florida law, if you are injured in an automobile accident and do not seek diagnosis by a medical doctor, physician, osteopath, dentist, physician’s assistant or registered nurse practitioner within 14 days, your insurance company does not have to provide you with any personal injury protection benefits. If you do see one of these types of treators, in order to get your full PIP benefits, you must receive a diagnosis of an “emergency condition”. The failure to do either of these can leave you holding the bag for large amounts of medical bills to get you back to normal following an accident.
This brings up another key area of concern, adequate uninsured/under insured motorist coverage to protect you in the event you are in an accident with a driver who does not carry bodily injury insurance. A 2009 study conducted by the Insurance Research Counsel estimated 23% of Florida drivers illegally drive without any type of automobile insurance. This means, if you do not adequately protect yourself by purchasing under insured/uninsured motorist coverage, and an insured driver causes an accident, there will likely be no recovery for you to compensate you for your injuries outside of your PIP benefits.
The Office of Kevin C. Maxwell & Associates will gladly review your insurance coverage with you to make sure you and your family is adequately protected in the unfortunate event you are in an automobile accident. Don’t wait until you or your loved ones are injured before finding out you do not have adequate protection. Contact our offices for a free consolation regarding your insurance policies.
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