You may be understandably concerned that using PIP insurance after an accident will give your insurance company the right to change its insurance policy and make it more expensive. In short, using your PIP should not change your insurance policy, and Florida has certain laws that ensure this. However, some insurance companies may try to raise your insurance if you have been involved in an accident and need to use your PIP.
With the help of a lawyer at The Law Place, you can ensure that your insurance company won’t take advantage of you and raise your insurance coverage illegally. An attorney at our law firm will be able to determine if the insurance company has acted unlawfully and fight to ensure that your insurance premiums are fair.
Our skilled lawyers have 75 years of combined experience across multiple practice areas, so we know how the Florida legal system works. Understanding the complexities of the laws surrounding PIP coverage can sometimes be challenging. However, an experienced attorney at our law firm will be able to explain in detail how these insurance policies work and how the laws regarding insurance premiums apply to your specific case.
At The Law Place, we believe in open and consistent communication with our clients, which is why we keep our phone lines open 24/7. If you have a question or doubt about your PIP coverage, someone will always be available to take your call and assist you.
Contact us today at (941) 444-4444 to schedule your free consultation with a top lawyer at The Law Place today.
What Is Personal Injury Protection Insurance?
In Florida, personal injury protection insurance, also known as PIP, is required by law, and drivers must have a minimum coverage of $10,000. Under Florida Statute 627.7407, Florida is a no-fault state. This means that accident victims must first file a personal injury claim with their own insurance company regardless of who was at fault.
Unfortunately, it is common for parties involved to sustain physical injuries as a result of a car accident. The medical care that the victims receive to treat these injuries often results in them having to worry about the large medical bills that usually follow. Personal injury protection (PIP) is normally used to cover 80% of the medical expenses incurred due to the accident.
In order for a claimant to file a PIP claim to cover their medical bills, they must receive medical care within 14 days of the accident as per Florida Statute 627.736. If the claimant fails to receive professional medical treatment within this time period, they risk losing the right to file a claim even if they were injured as a result of the auto accident.
What Does My PIP Insurance Cover?
Your PIP coverage can cover some of the damages you may have sustained as a result of your accident. PIP insurance can cover:
- Medical Bills – If you have been involved in a car accident, it is likely that you have incurred hospital bills as a result of the medical attention you have received. PIP insurance covers 80% of medical costs that cover care, including scans, surgery, and medication. Claimants should note that although PIP does cover medical bills, it does not cover medical treatment such as acupuncture or massage therapy.
- Lost Income – If you have been injured in your accident, you may have been left unable to work. Some companies pay workers when they are unable to work. However, many do not. PIP insurance covers up to 60% of lost wages that the claimant may have experienced after their accident.
- Death Benefits – In the case that the policyholder was killed due to their accident, PIP should cover funeral expenses, and the next of kin may receive compensation.
- Travel Expenses – When traveling to and from your health clinic or hospital, it is likely that you have incurred travel expenses, and PIP may be able to reimburse some of these expenses.
PIP does not cover damages, including damaged property and emotional trauma. If you are hoping to receive compensation for damages such as these, an attorney can help you file a claim through the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
What If My Claim Exceeds My PIP Insurance Limit?
If the damages incurred as a result of your accident exceed your PIP insurance limit, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit with the other driver’s insurance provider. Hiring an experienced attorney can ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation for your personal injury case. Our legal team will review your case and determine how much you could be owed for the damages you have sustained. Once we have collected evidence and negotiated with the insurance companies involved, we will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Other damages that our attorneys could help you claim as well as medical expenses and lost wages include:
- Property Damage – If your property, such as your car, has been damaged during the car accident, you may be able to claim compensation to cover the repair or replacement cost.
- Pain and Suffering – If you have experienced mental trauma as well as pain from your physical injuries, you could obtain compensation for this. Determining how much money a person may be owed due to the mental pain and suffering they have endured can be difficult. However, one of our skilled lawyers will be able to calculate this for you during your case evaluation.
Will My Insurance Company Raise My Insurance Premiums?
In Florida, your insurance premiums should not go up if you use your PIP insurance. Florida law has several pieces of legislation in place in order to protect clients of insurance companies. For example, Florida Statue 626.9541 prohibits insurance companies from raising insurance rates for illegitimate reasons. Insurance companies are not allowed to increase rates if you use your PIP insurance as you are legally required by the state to use it if you have been involved in an accident. When an insurance company fails to abide by the law and does not have a legally valid reason for raising rates of insurance, it can receive up to a $10,000 fine per violation.
Insurance companies should act in good faith. If your auto insurance provider cancels your insurance coverage or changes your policy, you may be able to file a bad faith insurance practice claim. In Florida, if you suspect your insurance company has acted unlawfully, you have the right to:
- Request a legally valid reason for why the insurance policy was changed or canceled.
- Contact the Florida Department of Insurance Regulationin the case that the insurance provider does not provide a valid reason for the policy change.
- Contact a lawyer to discuss your case.
Does Using PIP Raise Your Insurance? FAQ
Will my insurance company raise my rates if I use PIP benefits after a car crash?
Whether an insurance company raises rates after a policyholder uses Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits can vary. Typically, PIP is designed to provide immediate coverage for medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who is at fault in a car crash. While using PIP benefits alone does not automatically result in higher car insurance rates, insurance companies may review claim histories as part of their overall assessment of a policyholder’s risk profile.
How do PIP claims affect car insurance rates?
PIP claims may be considered by your insurance company when determining your car insurance rates, especially if there is a history of multiple claims. However, a single PIP claim, particularly for a minor incident, may not significantly impact your monthly premiums. Insurance companies typically look at the overall risk, including the frequency and severity of claims, when adjusting rates.
Can the circumstances of the car crash affect whether my insurance rates go up?
Yes, the circumstances surrounding the car crash can influence whether your insurance rates increase. If you were not at fault for the accident, your insurance company may not raise your rates for using PIP benefits. However, if you are found to be at fault, this could be a factor that leads to higher premiums, as it reflects a higher risk to the insurance company.
What should I consider before filing a PIP claim?
Before filing a PIP claim, consider the extent of your injuries and the potential costs of medical treatment. While PIP is there to be used when needed, understanding the details of your insurance policy and how claims may impact your rates can help you make an informed decision. If in doubt, you may want to discuss your situation with your insurance agent or a knowledgeable advisor to understand the implications for your specific policy.
Will my insurance company automatically review my policy after a PIP claim?
After a PIP claim, insurance companies may review the policyholder’s account, including the recent claim, as part of their regular review process. This doesn’t always lead to increased rates, but it is a common practice for insurers to assess their policyholders’ risk levels periodically. The review might include examining the details of the car crash, the policyholder’s driving history, and any previous claims filed.
How can I minimize the impact of a PIP claim on my insurance rates?
To minimize the impact of a PIP claim on your insurance rates, maintain a clean driving record, avoid making small claims that you could cover out of pocket, and consider higher deductibles to lower your monthly premiums. Additionally, shopping around for car insurance and asking about discounts for safe driving or loyalty can help keep your rates more affordable.
Contact The Law Place Today
If your insurance provider has changed your insurance rates or canceled your policy, you should contact The Law Place today. Insurance companies can only change your insurance policy if they have a legal and valid reason to do so. If you have used your PIP coverage after an accident, it is highly likely that your insurance provider does not have the legal right to change your insurance rates due to this.
One of our attorneys will review your insurance coverage policy and determine if your insurance provider has acted unlawfully. We offer invaluable legal advice and ensure that our clients are completely aware of the laws and legal protections surrounding their insurance policy.
Our phone lines are open 24/7, so you can call us whenever you want. Contact one of our law offices at (941) 444-4444 to schedule your free consultation with a member of our legal team today.