PIP Bill Won't Affect Injured People, Former Insurance Fraud Director Says

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John Askins spent 24 years in Miami investigating staged accidents, fake injury claims, and other car insurance fraud before going on to head the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud. He retired from government in September but followed this month's new personal injury protection (PIP) reform bill closely.

All Florida drivers are required to carry PIP insurance, which covers them for up to $10,000 in medical bills and lost wages if they're in an accident. The bill passed by the Legislature this month limits the medical benefits to $2,500 unless a doctor decides the injured driver has an "emergency medical condition."

Consumer advocates and trial lawyers have said the new rules could prevent injured people from getting longer-term care and won't guarantee lower insurance premiums. The Pulp outlined many of the bill's flaws here. But Askins, with his decades of experience fighting fraud, has a different view of the legislation. Here's an excerpt of what he said from his home in Tallahassee:
Q: What do you think of the bill?
A: "I do believe it's the most significant that I can remember. [However], I thought it was imperative that they put a cap on attorney's fees [which the Legislature did not do]. Trial lawyers are too powerful."

Q: Will it shut down car accident clinics?
A: "It's not going to eliminate these fraudulent clinics, unfortunately. It's just going to reduce the amount that they can steal. These people are like roaches -- they just come back. They'll find ways to get around it, but at least they have been neutralized somewhat."

Q: What about the requirement limiting medical benefits to $2,500 unless it's a medical emergency?
A: "I'm not sure what that means, but you better be bleeding or have a broken bone... I personally do not believe this new legislation will adversely affect even one injured person."

Q: What if tests reveal an injury but the $2,500 was used up by the tests?
A: "If you were really injured, what would you do? You'd go to the emergency room... You don't go to these fly-by-night clinics. It's not going to affect a really injured person."

Q: [The bill makes a 10 percent reduction in PIP insurance rates optional. Insurance companies can refuse to lower the rate if they provide a written excuse]. What if insurance companies refuse to lower their rates?
A: "It remains to be seen how that works out... It's incumbent on the insurance commissioner to say 'no.' ...[It's] not a perfect bill, but it's a big step in the right direction."

"Not that insurance companies are perfect. They're out for profit and you have to watch them."

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4 comments
LIGAMENT INJURY CLAIMS
LIGAMENT INJURY CLAIMS

To get your claims from the authorities responsible you should be very much aware of about the accident situation.Also the evidence which will show that the authorities to whom you claim are only responsible to pay in this situation.

Drchristopherwilliams
Drchristopherwilliams

What if tests reveal an injury but the $2,500 was used up by the tests?A: "If you were really injured, what would you do? You'd go to the emergency room... You don't go to these fly-by-night clinics. It's not going to affect a really injured person."REALLY???   This guy talks like he thinks all people who are injured go to "fly by night clinics" as he put it.   I am a doctor who treats patients involved in auto accidents.  95% of my patients did not need to waste their time going to the ER.  Unfortunately by the time some of them get an MRI I order which reveals multiple disc problems or ligament tears, under this bill their entire $2500 is gone due to just testing....try telling an injured patient they have torn ligaments or herniated discs that due to the legislature they only have $2500 of PIP to use.......and they just used all of it on 2 MRI's......this guy says "broken bones or better be bleeding" in order to be diangosed with this ridiculous term "emergency medical condition"  ......gotta love the Politicians being bought out by the insurance companies.....

Richard Parillo
Richard Parillo

We are all paying more for pip benefits.  We are all paying the same premiums for $2500 that we used to pay when we got $10,000 in benefits.  Rates will never come down. Only the insurance companies will benefit from this change in the law.  RICK SCOTT IS EVIL.

Robrien99
Robrien99

Dr, as long as you are a physician, not a chiropractor, then you can diagnose it as an emergency medical condition and the limit goes to $10K.

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