PIP Insurance Questions

What is PIP Insurance?

Personal Injury Protection Insurance, or PIP insurance, is required under Florida law. Every vehicle and every vehicle owner must have a minimum of $10,000 coverage on their policy.

PIP insurance was designed as an extension to your auto insurance policy to cover medical expenses that incurred as a result of an auto accident. These expenses can include medical treatment, recovery expenses, and lost wages, as well as transportation to medical appointments and other related expenses.

As a no-fault state, when you are in an auto accident in Florida, the PIP benefits you receive come from your own insurance policy, regardless of who was at fault. PIP insurance basically removes the issue of who was at fault in the accident, with each vehicle owner’s insurance covering their own expenses.

How Does PIP Insurance Work?

If you have been in an automobile accident, time is of the essence. While PIP insurance is designed to help you cover additional medical expenses, there are limitations and requirements that must be followed in order to receive the benefits from your insurance company.

In order to obtain PIP insurance, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. Even if you do not feel injured, it is in your best interest to seek medical attention. Some injuries do not present themselves for days or weeks following the accident, and minor pains may worsen with time. Under the PIP statute, the medical treatment necessary to initiate PIP insurance may be provided by an M.D., D.O., D.C., dentist, hospital, emergency medical personnel, or a facility owned by a hospital.

While services by medical professionals, osteopathic medicine, hospitals, chiropractors, and EMS services are all covered under approved medical providers, be aware that alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage will not be covered under PIP insurance.

Typically Personal injury protection insurance pays for 80% of the medical bills that you incur as a result of the accident, and 60% of any lost wages, with a cap at $10,000, depending on the classification of injuries. Policies differ and you should speak with your insurance agent or an attorney if you have one to find out what policy you have in place.  PIP benefits are also paid to passengers, as well as a pedestrian or bicyclist injured by a vehicle in some instances. If you do not own a vehicle, you may still be covered if you reside with someone else that does own a vehicle and has coverage.

Do I Need PIP Insurance?

The “no-fault” law in Florida means that, in the event of a car accident, both parties turn to their auto insurance policies to make claims, regardless of who was at fault. To cover this, all Florida drivers must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance included in their car insurance policy.

Why Won’t My Primary Care Physician Accept PIP Insurance Coverage?

When you are injured in a car wreck, your medical treatment is covered by your insurance policy’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage means you can see a doctor, regardless of fault.

If you were injured in an auto accident, PIP coverage ensures you can seek treatment right away with the knowledge your care will be covered. However, PIP billing can be complicated, which means many primary care physician offices often choose not to see patients who will be covered by PIP. In addition to the fact that accident injuries may not be their primary area of focus, it makes sense to seek treatment from a car accident specialist.

While emergency rooms are capable of billing your PIP insurance, if you need a follow-up (or your injuries aren’t urgent), your appointment must be with a physician that specifically works with vehicle accident victims who is able to provide you with the best treatment, but can also navigate PIP billing.

How Do I Apply for PIP Coverage?

Experiencing an auto accident can be traumatic, painful, and complicated. After an accident happens, understanding how to apply for personal injury protection insurance with your insurance company can help ensure financial stability and a faster recovery.

As a no-fault state, your PIP insurance is a first-party claim, meaning it is made against your own insurance carrier. Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, reach out immediately to your insurance agent and file an accident claim. Ask them in your initial call for a PIP claim form or how best to file your PIP claim. Complete the steps to file your PIP claim immediately.

Additionally, seek medical treatment as quickly as possible. In order to receive PIP reimbursement, you must seek medical care within 14 days of the accident. Inform your medical team that you are filing for PIP insurance, as your doctor may also be able to assist with the necessary medical documentation.