Florida’s PIP Insurance Law Draws Questions

Agents are asked these questions every day. Why do I have to have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and what is it?

First a little history. The PIP became law in 1971; the intent of the law was to cut down on litigation. The idea at that time was instead of suing the “AT FAULT” party the “NOT AT FAULT” party will have $10,000 to pay for minor injuries. This is why PIP is also known as “No-fault.” The only way a party could sue is if they had a permanent injury, loss of a bodily function, scarring, or there was a death from the auto accident. Although good intentioned some consumer advocates believe the PIP law has out lived its usefulness.

The reason you are required to have PIP simply -IT IS THE LAW! If you own a defined motor vehicle in the State of Florida you are required to carry, PIP and Property Damage Liability. States are either a “Tort” State (a state which requires all owners of autos carry Bodily Injury and Property liability at statutory limits) or a “No Fault” State (A/K/A PIP State). I prefer to call “No Fault”, PIP which means “Personal Injury Protection. To add to the confusion each state has a different “threshold” which defines when a person may sue the “At Fault Driver.” Florida is said to have a “verbal” threshold a person again may sue the “at fault” driver for “non-economic damages” if they sustained a permanent injury, loss of a bodily function, “Significant” Scarring, or if there is a death from the auto accident. Did you notice the term “Significant” Scarring? This is part of the rub; the law that was supposed to cut back on litigation gave birth to another level of litigation, now we must determine what is “Significant” Scarring?

In 1994 the majority of the states were “No Fault, PIP” states, today there are only a few states who employ a “PIP or No Fault” Law. “No Fault” is a misnomer, the only thing that is paid, whether you are at fault or not, is each individual’s reimbursement of expenses, capped at $10,000. This is figured at 80% of your Medical and 60% of your work loss, including household services you are unable to perform because of the car accident? In addition, should you be killed, there is a $5,000 death benefit, subject to a maximum per person of $10,000.

It is only after the first $10,000 do we look to the “at fault driver”, at which the “Guilty” parties Liability Coverage will take in effect or the triggering of one of the four triggers listed above. NOTE: that in Florida PIP (No Fault) only covers each individual’s bodily injury and has nothing to do with paying for any property damage.

In 1971 the Coverage was $10,000 for each person, today it is still $10,000. Love it or Hate it, PIP will still be around for at least another year.

If you have further questions, please call us at 813 514-6982.

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