Amid rising insurance fraud, PIP changes may be comingby John Kennedy | August 16th, 2011
With car insurance fraud skyrocketing in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott cited a need Tuesday to revamp the state’s four decade old requirement that motorists carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
Driven in part by widespread accident fraud, auto insurance premiums have spiked by more than $900 million over the past three years, Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty told Scott and the Cabinet.
McCarty blamed “fraudsters and hucksters” for much of the problem. The state’s Divison of Insurance Fraud reported Tuesday that PIP fraud referrals have more than doubled since 2007 to 6,699 this year.
Scott said it’s clear that the state’s PIP law is in need for an overhaul by lawmakers next year — with McCarty charged with coming up with proposals to put before lawmakers in coming weeks.
Motorists must carry $10,000 PIP policies. But business groups and insurance companies have long fought the requirement. PIP legislation collapsed last session in a predictable tug-of-war between insurers, consumers and medical organizations.
Scott, though, backed by Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, said Tuesday that changes need to be made, although neither of the officials said they knew what steps should be taken.
“Are we doing things through regulation…that is allowing fraud to happen, that normally wouldn’t happen?” Scott said.