Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton has announced the introduction of the new legislation under House Bill 1411. Now there would be several important measures that would be taken by the lawmakers in Florida to fight the menace of auto insurance scams. There would be increased consumer protection, stiffer penalties, and revisions to car crash reports.
The bill has been sponsored by Jim Boyd and it aims to bring about reforms to the PIP insurance which is also known as the No-Fault insurance in Florida. The no-fault protection has been one of the main reasons for the staged accidents that are so common now.
Boyd stated that the PIP coverage has become the prime target for over $1 billion due to fraud operations that took place in a number of ways. Hence, he feels that this bill would help in curtailing fraud.
The modus operandi is the same with these fraud rings. There is a ring which involves attorneys, unscrupulous clinics, and the fraudsters. They are all part of these staged accidents, which is followed by a police investigation report. After a few days, the so-called passengers who are supposedly injured in the scam file for injury claims and then look forward to collecting money from the PIP insurance cover. There are even phantom passengers most of the time.
Alden Weichel, president, Bradenton Insurance states that it is an extremely complex situation and hopes that the bill will bring in sufficient reforms. Although, it is a well-known fact that these fraudsters will find ways and means to work around it, he is hopeful of at least having a better hold on the situation.
According to the PIP coverage a sum of $10,000 is provided per accident on the medical bills irrespective of who is at fault. Hence, there are a slew of accidents that are staged as it is an easy way to make a quick buck from the insurance companies.
At the moment, Florida ranks number one in the entire nation when it comes to auto insurance fraud, as per reports from the Division of Insurance Fraud.
There were over 3,000 staged accidents during 2007 – 2009 that were reported in the State of Florida alone.
Bob Fowinkle, President of Moore has stated that this is a very bad problem and that the law needs to be tightened. The HB 1411 hopes to address these issues by bringing about some reforms that will help in curbing auto insurance fraud.