Under Florida’s system of motor vehicle insurance, all drivers are required to carry insurance on that vehicle. At a bare minimum, all drivers are required to carry $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This is supposed to ensure that all drivers have at least $10,000 to cover medical and disability expenses and $5,000 as a death benefit.


How Do You Take Advantage of Your PIP Benefits?

Unfortunately, a few years back there was a ton of PIP fraud occurring in Florida and, in particular, Hillsborough County. As such, state and local legislators begin implementing changes in hopes of weeding out a majority of the fraud.

So, when a person is in an accident, in order to take advantage of their PIP benefits, an injured person must, within 14 days of the accident, see one of the following professionals for initial services:

  • Licensed physician
  • Licensed dentist
  • Licensed chiropractic physician
  • Advanced practice registered nurse.

If the professional deems that the injured person had an emergency medical condition, 80 percent of all reasonably necessary medical expenses, up to $10,000, will be covered by the insurance. If the professional deems that it was not an emergency medical condition, only $2,500 will be covered. This includes necessary medical, surgical, X-ray, dental, and rehabilitative services, including prosthetic devices and medically necessary ambulance, hospital, and nursing services. This includes follow-up care prescribed by one of the above-referenced professionals.


Disability Benefit

The insurance also covers 60 percent of any loss of gross income and loss of earning capacity per individual from inability to work proximately caused by the injury sustained by the injured person, plus all expenses reasonably incurred in obtaining from others ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those that, but for the injury, the injured person would have performed without income for the benefit of his or her household. All disability benefits payable under this provision must be paid at least every 2 weeks.

However, in my experience, most of the PIP benefits will get taken up by the medical expenses. As anyone who has ever had to deal with medical professionals know, medical services are not cheap and the money will go quickly.

Death Benefit

Last, PIP insurance also has a death benefit for those who unfortunately die as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The death benefit is $5,000 per individual. This is in addition to the medical and disability benefits provided under the insurance policy. The insurer may pay death benefits to the executor or administrator of the deceased, to any of the deceased’s relatives by blood, legal adoption, or marriage, or to any person appearing to the insurer to be equitably entitled to such benefits.

So, if you taken nothing else away from this article, just remember to see a licensed medical provider within 14 days of any accident. If don’t do so, those benefits are forever lost.