Florida state officials have noted the increase in payouts for PIP claims but which have not kept up with the inflation rate. PIP refers to personal injury protection covers medical expenses for motorists and passengers injured in auto accidents regardless of fault. Since about 20 percent of all motorists are uninsured, PIP is intended to pay for those who lack health insurance and to cut down on lawsuits for minor accidents.
Premiums for Florida’s drivers also increased $50 for what insurers claim is rampant insurance fraud from staged accidents and other suspicious claims.
The average payout for PIP claims has increased 22 percent since 2004 although the cost of medical care has risen by 26 percent. No-fault claims have also increased by 32 percent since 2008. Insurance Institute spokesmen say there is no good reason for the increase while ignoring the fact that unemployment has increased to 11.5 percent from 3.3 percent in 2006 causing many people to lose their employer-provided health insurance.
State officials also point to out-of-control PIP fraud and the fact that conviction rates for insurance fraud has been on the decrease since 2007 although the state has intensified its crackdown on offenders. They do feel that their efforts have led to a temporary decrease in convictions.
Consumer advocates contend that insurance fraud accounts for a fraction of insurance costs and that high unemployment and other factors are the cause.