Personal Injury Protection Coverage

Grand Prairie insurance attorneys and those in Irving, Duncanville, De Soto, Lancaster, Richardson, Garland, Mesquite, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, and other places in Dallas County should have a good understanding of the way that Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits work. The State of Florida through it’s department of insurance mandates coverage much the way Texas does. The SunSentinel ran an article dealing with PIP complaints. Here is much of what the article says.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater blasted the auto insurance industry Tuesday, saying it needed to “quit the whining” over reductions to auto insurance rates required as part of reforms to the state’s no-fault auto insurance law.
“The insurance industry came to each committee meeting, they lobbied these legislators – ‘You’ve got to make these changes so we can help our customers,'” Atwater said in an interview. “But no sooner do suggested reductions come out and everybody starts running for cover.”
Atwater laid into the industry following the first meeting of a new task force dedicated to fighting what insurers have called “epidemic” fraud in Personal Injury Protection claims. He said that the industry practically “begged” lawmakers to do something about PIP fraud and high rates.
Lawmakers made sweeping changes to the law this spring, essentially restricting who can treat injured motorists and when. The changes phase in between July 1 and Jan. 1. The bill also requires that insurers either reduce PIP rates by 10 percent this October or explain why, and further cut rates by 25 percent by January 2014, or explain why.
But while a draft report by Pinnacle Actuarial Resource, commissioned by the Office of Insurance Regulation to evaluate the changes, said that the law could result in reductions of 12 percent to 20 percent, it added that those changes may simply offset increases for other coverages.
The release of the report Friday night prompted statements from the Personal Injury Federation of Florida and Property Casualty Insurance Association of America, which are both on the new strike force, that said it would take time before rates are cut — to see if the changes were resulting in less fraud — and also noted possible legal challenges.
Mike Carlson, executive director of PIFF, in response to Atwater’s comments, said that the “market needs time to react.”
“However we remain cautiously optimistic that consumers will see savings at the end of the day if the law is not corrupted by the cottage industry of rapacious lawyers and medical providers who have lorded over the PIP system all these years,” he said.
The strike force, which used Tuesday as an organizational meeting only, will next meet in December.
In Texas, the Texas Department of Insurance regulates the insurance industry. The PIP statutes are found in the Texas Insurance Code, Section 1952.151 thru 1952.161. Of course the regulation and enforcement of these statutes is found throughout the Insurance Code and it’s various sections.
PIP is suppose to be a “no-fault” coverage. There is not suppose to be an investigation as to who is at fault in an injury causing event. Rather the insurance company investigation is limited to making sure the injury was in some way connected to the use and operation of the insured automobile and making sure the injuries are legitimate.
Any time that a PIP claim is denied by an insurance company, the insured should seek the immediate help of an experienced Insurance Law Attorney.

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