Your PIP Insurance Has Changed
If you buy insurance, you need to know how to get the maximum benefit you are due from it if an accident happens. That is incredibly difficult after the new no-fault insurance law took effect on January 1st. You still have to pay for the full $10,000 no-fault coverage, sometimes referred to as PIP coverage, required by law. Yet, the politicians have drastically cut what the insurance companies will have to pay out for your medical care.
Last week, I said I would tell you how to protect yourselves as much as you can under, and maybe from, this new law. Here it is: following a wreck, if you have any injury, go to a doctor or hospital within 14 days of the wreck. Only if you go within 14 days might the insurance company have to pay 80% of the health care bills, up to the $10,000 PIP coverage limit. If you don't go within that time, the carrier is not obligated to pay.
After you have gone to a doctor or hospital within 14 days, the same rate of payment, 80% of the bills, will be paid for care you get in follow-up, but it's not automatic. You have to do some things. Get a medical referral for the follow-up if you have to go to a doctor different from the one you first saw. Without the referral, it won't be paid for. Then, make sure the new doctor knows what the first one diagnosed. If the follow-up doctor's records don't show that you were treated for a problem consistent with the underlying medical diagnosis of the first doctor, you will be out of luck.
Finally, only if the care you get is emergency care for life-threatening problems, is it not likely that you will ever get the full $10,000 of coverage you are paying for. If the doctor says it wasn't an emergency, the most you will get from the $10,000 policy you paid for is $2,500 of coverage. Florida's governor and legislature did nothing for you, but it did a lot for the insurance companies.