Florida Governor Rick Scott recently signed a new law which significantly cuts
down on the amount of car insurance fraud taking place in the sunshine state. Because
car accident victims sometimes inflate their injuries and also hope that they will get more
money from other drivers insurance company car insurance fraud has run amuck in many
states, specifically Florida. The new law states those involved in car accidents must be
treated within 14 days (starting January 1st, 2013). In addition, car accident victim’s
benefits would not longer pay for healthcare services such as acupuncture and massage
PIP, also known as Personal Injury Protection Coverage valued at $10,000, was
one of the reasons automotive insurance fraud was so prevalent in Florida. Due to PIP,
heavy abuse, staged car accidents, and fake injuries sent individuals insurance premiums
to the top and many could not longer afford car insurance because of high new rates.
Those who are hurt in an accident and have emergency injuries or conditions will be able
to get a full $10,000 PIP compensation. Those without serious injuries would be eligible
for $2,500 of medical care. The two Florida cities where car insurance fraud takes place
the most are Tampa and Miami.
Most citizens would like to believe people involved in an auto accident are totally
honest about their injuries, but there are some who are out to scam and take advantage of
auto insurance rules and regulations. Most accidents could be avoided if drivers would
learn to slow down and pay more attention on the road. Better driver education can also
help young adults learn the rules of the road and become better drivers into adulthood.
The new law is a legislative victory for Governor Scott and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jerry Atwater, who introduced the idea more than 8 months ago. But the law is certainly not an end to insurance fraud in Florida – some companies may already be planning ways to work around it.
by Jennifer S. O’Reilly