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Monday, December 24, 2012

If you don't use it, you lose it. (after 14 days)--Your Florida PIP Benefit

Your Florida PIP No-Fault benefits:  If you don't use it, you lose it.  (after 14 days)

That's exactly what happens.  If you have an accident, and you don't use your insurance, you lose it.

Imagine having insurance coverage that you paid for, but because you did not use it within a certain window, your insurance coverage expires and you get nothing.  Well, if you have an accident after Jan 1, 2013, and you decide to wait more than 14 days to go get checked out, your insurance will expire, and your insurance company which you pay good money, will deny your claim.  That's not much time is it, just 14 days?  Well according to the insurance companies, if you have an injury from a car accident in Florida, if there is truly an injury, you should have enough time, within those 2 weeks, to be looked at by a doctor.  Their rational is that pain, headaches, and impairments never arise after 14 days have passed.

Yes.  Its downright silly, yet it is exactly the way the law reads.

Anyway, I was talking to a friend of mine tonight, who lives in Colorado, and in regard to the recent changes to the Florida PIP law, he pointed something out to me that I had not even thought of.  First and foremost, we know that people NEED TO BE MADE AWARE OF THE CHANGES TO PIP, because their insurance company is not required to advise them of this change, and the new insurance policies don't even include this language in the paperwork.  It's a fact that they plan on keeping this detail hidden, because "the less an injured person knows about the procedure, the better."  Its obvious that your insurance company is banking on the fact that you will wait 14 days and one second, so they will be off the hook for any medical claims.

So, this brings up something very interesting and this is what he said:  If a person were to know that they would have no insurance if they waited too long to file a claim for injuries, why wouldn't you expect an increase the PIP claims that the insurance companies will get?  In other words, this may bring more claims to the insurance company, because  people are not going to want to lose their benefit.  

Could this 14 day thing backfire on the insurance companies?

Its very possibly could backfire.  I expect to start seeing radio and TV advertisements talking about the 14 days, which would prompt people to go get checked out who normally would have just dealt with the pain.  Some people may go to a doctor once, just for the purpose of securing their insurance benefit, which means some people may go get checked out, even if they have absolutely no pain.  Most intelligent people are cognizant of the fact that problems often show up later, due to injuries they suffer today.  I hope it doesn't cause people to bring in completely fake claims, just so future claims are not denied, but this is exactly what might happen when people become aware of the 14 day cut-off.  This may be a completely unintended consequence of the PIP change.  But, it was his opinion that even the most honest person would go get checked out by a doctor, if he knew that he would lose his insurance if he didn't go.

...just something to think of, right?

Have a Happy Holiday!

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