Changes in PIP Coverage to Occur in January 2013

PIPAutomobile insurance coverage–most notably, Personal Injury Protection Coverage (PIP)—comes into play when drivers get into an accident. Many people who have this type of coverage, also known as “No-Fault” coverage, don’t know exactly what it entails. PIP can be most easily understood as a health insurance policy that comes from your car insurance plan, with the added benefit of providing coverage for any loss of income, mileage reimbursement for trips to the doctor’s office, death benefits and more resulting from the accident. Most importantly, PIP has some health care benefits, and can be used to cover any medical treatment for injuries from an automobile accident. Even if you are at fault in an accident, you can still use your PIP, or Med Pay coverage, to cover the cost of your damages. That is why this type of insurance is also known as “No-Fault” coverage.

While many states do not require policyholders to carry PIP, under Florida law, all drivers are required to have Personal Injury Protection Coverage as a part of their automobile insurance plan. As a part of this plan, Florida drivers are required to pay for a minimum of $10,000 PIP coverage. However, with some insurance companies, there is an option to pay for more coverage—or to by a closely-related coverage plan called Medical Payments Coverage, or more commonly known as “Med Pay.” In addition to these options, drivers in Florida are required to purchase Property Damage Liability, which ensures that you are covered for any damage you could cause to another person’s property.

Recently, many changes have been taking place that affect Florida PIP coverage—changes that will go into effect in January 2013. While these new changes still require policy holders to gain coverage for a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage for medical purposes, they also only allow for $2,500 to be released initially, should initial treatment is obtained within 14 days of the accident. Also included in these new laws, treatment will be limited to the conditions determined at the policy holder’s initial diagnosis. In order to be able to use the remaining $7,500 covered by the plan, for the $10,000 total paid for, the policy holder will need to provide proof of an “Emergency Medical Condition” from a healthcare provider. According to insurance providers, the decision to make these changes came from the notion that doing so would lower insurance premiums and prevent insurance fraud.