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Required Emergency Room Visit for Accident Injuries

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 01/21/2012

The state of Florida takes aim at stopping a large category of insurance fraud – accident injuries.

Accident-injuries

Florida is tryingto pass laws to stop fake accident injury doctors at the beginning, instead of arresting them later.

Insurance fraud is rampant. Where ever criminals can find a way to make money in the insurance industry, they do. Making insurance fraud even worse is the tolerance that people have for it.

People have the view that the criminals stealing from an insurance company is okay because there is no physical victim, just a faceless corporation. They don’t realize that they are the physical victim. The insurance company isn’t going to eat the costs of the fraud; they are going to instead pass it on to their clients (you) in the form of increased premiums.

While all states are actively working and trying to prevent insurance fraud, Florida is trying to take an interesting and drastic step in combating it.

Florida’s Accident Injuries

The state of Florida requires that all their drivers carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover accident injuries. PIP kicks in regardless of who is at fault for an accident and covers only the people in your own vehicle.

In Florida, PIP has become the hot coverage for fraud. People are going to bogus doctors and claiming fake injuries from staged accidents. Because no fault has to be assigned for this coverage to pay, insurance companies are paying the bills because they believe they are legitimate. These paid fraudulent claims are getting so bad the Insurance Information Institute predicts that Florida’s PIP fraud claims could top $1 billion in 2012.

To fight this, Florida is trying to pass a bill that would make it mandatory that all accident injuries sustained be checked out at a hospital within 72 hours after the accident. Because hospitals are the least likely to be involved in PIP insurance fraud, the state feels that this could prevent fake injuries from being claimed. It would increase the odds that only actual injuries would be paid because they would be verified by a trusted medical professional, not a fake doctor in a PIP scam.

How This Accident Injury Bill Could Affect You

States watch each other very carefully to see what works and what doesn’t. If this accident injury bill does indeed cut the PIP fraud as drastically as they think it will, you may see similar legislation coming to your state. While not all states require or even offer PIP coverage, there is a lot of room to fight accident injury fraud in all states.

How You Can Fight Accident Injury Fraud Now

Everyone can help to fight accident injury fraud; they don’t have to wait for state lawmakers to step in.

First, don’t view insurance fraud with an indifferent attitude. Insurance fraud costs you money. That premium increase you see on our renewal every six months is partially because the insurance company is paying fraudulent claims. They are not just stealing from the insurance company, they are stealing from you. So, get mad about it!

Two, be aware of your surroundings when driving. If people around you are driving oddly, try to get away from them. This could mean slowing down a little and let them get in front of you or just pulling over and letting them go by. Don’t get caught by people trying to stage an accident to use you as the payday. Removing yourself from an uncomfortable driving situation can save you a lot of time and money down the road.

Three, if you view any accident offer yourself as a witness. Criminals don’t like witnesses that can dispute what they claim happened. When you give your statement to the police or the insurance company remember to repot two thing. One, any erradit of funny behavior before the crash. Two any accident injuries that you see or don’t see..

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele’s first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she’s earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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