No question, Florida is unique in many ways and no more so than our laws regarding automobile insurance. As you may already know, Florida Law does not require someone to purchase Bodily Injury Coverage (insurance which pays for damages you cause to someone else) or Under/Uninsured Motorist Coverage (insurance which pays you for damages caused by someone else who is uninsured or underinsured). However, Florida Law does require each driver who owns a vehicle to purchase Personal Injury Protection or PIP Coverage. PIP is also sometimes referred to as No Fault Coverage because it provides benefits for you regardless of whether you or someone else caused the crash. PIP pays medical bills and lost wages for you and, depending on the circumstances, your resident relatives and possibly other people in your car if they do not have auto insurance. PIP is required by Florida law and most times when people are told they have "full coverage" they are referring to PIP and Property Damage only but not Bodily Injury or Under/Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
So what does PIP do? First, PIP will pay your medical bills. Normally PIP pays 80% of the allowed medical charges up to a maximum of $10,000 and there is usually a deductible. Of course, this can change if you purchase extended PIP benefits. PIP does require the medical providers to reduce their charges to a certain amount which is usually 200% of what Medicare can be billed. PIP can also pay for your lost income. If you miss work because of the accident, your employer can complete a wage verification form and submit it to your auto insurance company. Under your PIP, you can receive 60% of your normal pay but remember the most PIP pays is $10,000 total so if you submit a claim for wages, there will be less PIP money for medical care.
The PIP law has many other important roles in Florida auto insurance law including what is commonly referred to as the "threshold" which can entitle a plaintiff to additional damages if overcome. However, these issues will not be addressed in this article and one should always contact a Personal Injury Lawyer with questions regarding their specific case.
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