According to News Journal Online, Florida’s state insurance regulators released a report that shows a rise in personal injury protection payments and claims. Central Florida saw the second-highest rate of claims in the state last year. Personal injury protection insurance pays medical bills for policyholders injured in auto accidents, no matter which driver may be at fault.
Florida requires its drivers to carry at least $10,000 in coverage. The protection is a law intended to protect Floridians without health insurance and to avoid lawsuits for minor personal injuries. However, legislators have suggested that the program may have a flaw and could be the cause of fraud. Legislators have introduced bills to make it more difficult for attorneys representing policyholders to charge big fees for their service and for policyholder health providers to file claims.
Central Florida’s personal injury protection claims went up by almost 10,000 from 2007 to 2010. Bulk of the action is in the Orlando area and does not include Volusia and Flagler counties. South Florida had the largest spike in personal injury protection claims, payments on claims went up by 56 percent since 2006. South Florida has only 27 percent of licensed drivers for the state’s five regions.
In 2010, PIP payments in South Florida exceeded $1 billion, which is more than all four of the other regions combined. Broward County Court Judge Robert Lee said that cases regarding PIP are up from 25 to 100 a week since two years ago, and that one in 25 cases involve accusations of fraud.