New Florida law addresses car insurance fraud

In previous posts we have written about individuals throughout the state who engage in no-fault motor vehicle insurance fraud accomplished through staged car accidents. Miami has not been immune to the scheme where. Recently food trucks have been employed as a part of the scam in the city. According to the state Division of Insurance Fraud, 15 people are known to been involved in the fraud.

Seeking to curb the trend, Florida legislators recently passed a bill regarding the matter. Governor Scott is expected to sign the bill, making it a law.

While most of the changes will take effect starting in 2013, some changes will be implemented in this summer. Beginning in July, an anti-fraud task force will be used. On the medical side, health care providers who are found to be taking part in fraudulent activities will face stiffer penalties. In addition, long-form accident reports will be used more often.

After the first of next year, anyone who is hurt in a car accident will have a limited time to seek treatment from a health care provider. Instead of unlimited time, they will be restricted to two weeks. Anyone who is not deemed to have an “emergency medical condition” by certain medical providers will not be eligible to the enter PIP benefit of $10,000. The qualified medical providers who can make that determination are:

• medical doctors

• osteopathic physicians

• dentists

• physician assistants

• advanced registered nurse practitioners

The compensation for all other treatments will be capped at $2,500.

This is not the first time that the Florida Legislature has attempted to address issues with PIP. In 2007 changes it passed resulted in an increase of lawsuits. It is unclear if the changes this time will fare any better.

Source: The Miami Herald, “Time will tell if new law fixes rampant car insurance fraud,” Tia Mitchell, March 27, 2012