27 Nov What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage in Florida?
The state of Florida requires all drivers to have Personal Injury Protection coverage, otherwise known as PIP coverage, or no-fault insurance. PIP insurance provides compensation to drivers from their insurance company regardless of who was at fault for a car accident.
Florida adopted its no-fault insurance statute in 1972, creating and requiring a new form of insurance coverage: PIP. Over the years, the PIP statute has been extensively amended, placing strict timelines on when you must get medical treatment, and that you must be diagnosed with an emergency medical condition (EMC) in order to get the full benefit.
The PIP statute leaves room for interpretation and is often disputed. Soft-tissue injuries like muscle strains and whiplash injuries resulting from a car accident can make PIP claims complicated.
Who is Required to Have PIP Coverage in Florida?
PIP is required for every person who lives in Florida and owns a vehicle. If you move to Florida, purchasing PIP coverage is mandatory within 90 days.
The minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage in Florida are:
- $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP)
- $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL)
Although bodily injury liability (BIL) and other types of coverage are not required, adding this coverage, as much as you can afford, may prevent you from having to pay out of pocket if you are sued down the line. Florida does not require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, or comprehensive insurance.
As a result of a high incidence of staged car crashes and insurance fraud related to PIP, Florida has implemented strict regulations for filing for and receiving PIP benefits and reimbursements, including getting treated within two weeks of an accident, and being diagnosed with an emergency medical condition. Your insurance company must pay your damages within 30 days, but has up to 60 days to investigate a claim if they believe a fraudulent claim has been submitted.
It is very important to note: PIP will not cover your medical expenses if you do not get treatment within 14 days. If you’re injured in an accident, do not delay in seeing a doctor.
Florida’s no-fault law requires you to have an EMC. Within two weeks of your accident, your doctor must determine if you suffered an EMC. If you do not have an EMC, your PIP benefits are reduced from $10,000 down to $2,500.
Florida Insurance Coverage FAQ
What does PIP insurance cover?
If you’re injured in a car accident in Florida, PIP will pay 80% of your medical bills, and 60% of your lost income and loss of earning capacity, up to $10,000, minus your deductible.
When does PIP apply?
PIP can apply if you are driving your vehicle, and you are involved in a crash. If you are a passenger in a car in an accident, but you own a different vehicle that has PIP, your own PIP coverage may cover you. If you do not have a vehicle with PIP coverage but are injured as a passenger, the driver’s PIP coverage may compensate you.
What is MedPay coverage?
When you purchase PIP coverage, you have the option to purchase medical payments coverage, sometimes called MedPay. If you have MedPay in place, you can use this to cover the 20% of your medical expenses that are not paid by PIP. If you do not have MedPay coverage and do not pay the 20% unpaid balance for your medical care, your health care provider could send your account to collections, even if you were hurt in an accident was not your fault.
Does PIP have death benefits?
If a policyholder is killed in a car accident, PIP will pay $5,000 for funeral and burial costs.
Is PIP customizable?
In Florida, everyone must get $10,000 of PIP coverage, which is the minimum and maximum available. You can opt for a higher deductible, which will lower your premium. You can also specify whether you include work loss, and whether you want PIP to cover residents of your household.
Do you still have the right to sue?
If your medical costs are greater than $10,000, you can still sue the at-fault driver in Florida. Is bodily injury insurance required in Florida?
While Florida does not make bodily injury liability coverage mandatory, it is highly recommended because medical expenses frequently exceed the $10,000 covered in a PIP policy.
What does “comprehensive” insurance cover?
Comprehensive coverage provides compensation for accidents and damage outside of a collision, such as a lightning strike, hail storm, auto theft, or act of nature. This coverage is optional and not required.
When do you need a personal injury lawyer?
If your insurance company decides your injuries are temporary and not serious or are not an EMC, an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove your injuries are serious enough to qualify to sue as part of a personal injury lawsuit.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your PIP Case
Florida’s “no-fault” insurance system was implemented to make car accident claims simple and straightforward. However, as claim requirements have gotten stricter, insurance companies have denied more claims, making getting fair compensation in a Florida PIP claim more challenging than it used to be. In some cases, it may be difficult to get PIP coverage paid without a lawyer.
If you have questions about your rights in a PIP claim following a Lake Wales car accident, or if an insurance company has denied your PIP claim, contact Sara Jones Law, P.A. to discuss your Florida personal injury case. We offer a free consultation to answer your questions and review your legal rights. If we represent you, we will not charge any legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.