House panel moves PIP insurance overhaul forward

Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE — A House panel has cleared a bill aimed at preventing fraud in Florida's personal-injury insurance.

With a 10-5 party line vote, the Civil Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday approved the bill (CS/HB 119). It addresses the state's mandatory personal injury protection — or PIP — coverage.

The proposed law requires those hurt in a wreck to be seen in a hospital emergency room or hospital-owned walk-in clinic for PIP coverage to kick in.

PIP insurance pays up to $10,000 to cover medical bills and lost wages after an accident. It doesn't matter who caused the wreck. All Florida drivers must carry such "no-fault" insurance.

But fraudsters now have turned Florida into the top state for staged accidents. PIP fraud in the state is estimated to reach $1 billion this year.

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