When Midnight Came, Your Insurance Changed

At midnight on December 31st, your insurance may have changed. You probably didn't know it. Here are some facts about the bad law that passed last year that became effective January 1st, thanks to the insurance industry and our state's politicians.

Under the guise of preventing auto insurance fraud, the new PIP law is in effect. PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection. If you are hurt in a wreck, the PIP portion of your own insurance policy pays the first $10,000 of your medical bills and lost wages. Or rather, it used to. Even though you will pay for that amount of coverage, the governor pushed through a law that makes it very doubtful that you will get more than 25% of that amount of coverage, even though you will pay for the full amount.

Payments for non-emergency care are reduced to $2,500 under the new law. Payments for massage therapy and acupuncture, which help a lot of people who have muscular tears or strains in a wreck, are eliminated. The touted reason for changing the law was to reduce premiums for you and me. The goal was to cut PIP premiums by 10%. Yet, after 93 rate approvals by the Tallahassee authorities, we are getting only a 1.5% reduction while losing 75% of the coverage.

Our governor's “Let's Get to Work” Committee got a $100,000 contribution from the insurance industry two days before the bill was passed following his arm twisting. Without delay, he signed it. The big changes to our old PIP law that gave us good protection are in new policies written after January 1st and for those renewing after January 1st.

Time today does not permit me to tell you how to maximize your insurance benefits if you are in a wreck, but I will do that next week. If you are unfortunate enough to be hurt before then, call or email me immediately, and I will gladly give you some guidance.

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