If you or a loved one has been in a recent auto accident, you have probably heard about PIP Insurance or Personal Injury Protection benefits. Many people in Florida know that we are a no-fault state, but don’t understand what that means. Understanding how Florida’s insurance works, what PIP insurance is, and how to submit a claim can help you on the road to recovery.
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.
About PIP Insurance Benefits
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.
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. PIP benefits are also paid to passengers, as well as a pedestrian or bicyclist injured by a vehicle. 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.
How to 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. Your agent should be able to walk your through the process by collecting all the necessary information and beginning the process of recovery. Ask them at that time to send you a PIP claim form. Fill it out immediately and submit it. You do not have to wait for your medical treatment to be complete before filing your claim.
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.
PIP insurance is a safety net designed to help ensure your financial stability following an automobile accident. The benefits are designed to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. Preparing properly, understanding what PIP insurance is and how it can benefit you are important to ensure a speedy recovery from your injuries.