Boyd’s bill helps fight auto insurance scams


13Several measures have been taken with regard to auto insurance scams as Florida lawmakers are reviewing matters relating the auto insurance scams.  There will be better consumer protection, revisions in the car crash reports and stiffer penalties now.

Representative of Bradenton, Jim Boyd, will be introducing the new legislation in accordance with the House Bill 1411. The Bill has been sponsored by Boyd and it aims at bringing in reforms to the PIP or Personal Injury Protection cover or Florida No Fault insurance which has led to a series of auto insurance frauds.

PIP has transformed into a prime target and the fraud operations amount to about $1 billion where accidents are staged.  There are a number of ways that the fraud occurs and this is one bill that aims at curtailing these scams, stated Boyd.

The modus operandi seems to be a staged accident with the involvement of some of the unscrupulous clinics as well as attorneys.  This is followed by the police officers arriving at the accident site and running a brief report.  After a few days lapse the passengers who are on the injured list on the file look to collect money from the PIP fund.  Sometimes even non-existent passengers are added.

The whole situation is very complex, stated Alden Weichel, President, Bradenton Insurance.  He hopes that the bill will help in bringing about the necessary changes with stricter measures.  He also hopes that the bill will be able to have better grip on the situation.

As per the compulsory PIP coverage $10,000 is provided per accident for the medical costs irrespective of who was at fault at the time of the accident.  Due to this insurance cover a slew of accidents have been staged and fraudsters are cashing in on the opportunity by making these false claims.

According to the Division of Insurance Fraud, Florida takes the top spot in auto insurance fraud in the United States.  More than 3,000 accidents were staged between 2007 and 2009 in Florida alone.

President of Moore, Fowinkle, Schroer Agency, located in Bradenton, Bob Fowinkle also stated that this was a serious problem and the law needed to be tightened.

House Bill 1411 aims at addressing these issues with the following measures:

  • As per the law there would be new billing practices that will ensure that only the appropriate medical services would be covered.
  • Those convicted of fraud to face civil penalties.
  • Clinic ownership will have stricter requirements.
  • All passengers involved in the accident will be listed in order to eliminate the existing loopholes.