How Does PIP Coverage Work?
When you get into an automobile accident, it is vital that you seek the medical treatment and insurance coverage necessary to deal with any injuries you sustain. Understanding how Florida’s insurance works after an accident is important. Personal Injury Protection, also known as “PIP” or “No-Fault” insurance is one of the most important pieces.
Explaining Personal Injury Protection
Florida is one of a few states in the US that have personal injury protection (PIP) automobile insurance. PIP is also called “no-fault” insurance because, regardless of who caused the accident, you turn to your own PIP coverage first. All insurance carriers in Floria are mandated by law to provide a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage.
PIP covers portions of medical costs, lost wages, and death benefits. This is intended to allow you to seek medical treatment immediately and reduce the amount you would owe or have lost.
Do I Have a Time Limit to File a PIP claim?
You have 14 days to seek medical treatment following an accident under PIP rules. It is always a good idea to seek medical treatment immediately following a crash. Let a doctor determine the extent of your injuries.
What Medical Costs are Covered Through PIP?
Most medical treatments associated with car crash injuries are covered through PIP. This includes:
- Medical services
- Surgical services
- Rehabilitation costs
- Diagnostic test costs
- EMS care
There are certain treatment options not covered by PIP, including massage therapy and acupuncture.
When it comes to the costs, PIP has limits. PIP does not cover all of medical expenses. Florida’s PIP law says that IP will only cover 80% of each medical bill. The remaining 20% is your copay. You may also have a deductible. However, if you have health insurance, it can also be used to offset, and sometimes eliminate, your medical bills.
The amount of coverage available is required, by law, to be at least $10,000. However, you should ask your doctor if your injury is considered an emergency. PIP will only cover up to $2,500 worth of benefits if a doctor does not recognize an Emergency Medical Condition.
What About My Lost Wages?
In addition to medical wage, PIP in Florida will pay for 60% of your lost wages up to the total $10,000 limit. This coverage may also extend to things you would normally be able to do but can no longer do because of your injuries, including some home care expenses, such as:
- Cleaning your house
- Taking care of pets
- Doing laundry
- Caring for children
- And more
It’s important to note that PIPbenefits apply to both medical and lost wage expenses. If you have $10,000 in benefits, this is a total amount, as opposed to $10,000 for medical and $10,000 for wages.
Are There PIP Death Benefits?
If the PIP policyholder is killed in an accident, PIP will pay for funeral and burial expenses in addition to the benefits already discussed. There is a limit of $5,000 for these costs.
What if This Isn’t My First Accident?
PIP coverage resets each time you are in an automobile accident. If you find yourself in another crash, even just shortly after the first one, all of the PIP benefits listed above will reset medical costs and lost wages benefits.
Does PIP Prevent a Person from Pursuing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If your total medical bills or lost wages were over $10,000, or if you suffered from a permanent injury, you can still file a personal injury claim against a negligent driver. Essentially, Florida is a no-fault state until the costs of an accident exceed PIP coverage limits. You should always speak with a qualified and experienced attorney about your specific case.