Good morning, and welcome to this week’s installment of our video blog. I’m Marcus Michles here at Michles & Booth, and this
morning, I want to talk about something i’ll bet you think you understand, but
i’ll bet you don’t completely understand. That’s Florida’s no-fault
system. A lot of people hear that Florida is a no-fault state. I’ve been dealing
with this for many, many years. There’s so many misconceptions and so much bad
information out there. It’s not as simple as people might think and yet not quite
as complicated as others might think. Here’s the deal. Florida is a no-fault
state, but what that means is simply each and every licensed driver is required to
carry no-fault coverage in Florida. We call that PIP, personal injury protection
and, it pays 80% of a medical bill or 60% of a lost wage up
to a combined total of $10,000. So if you’re properly covered, if
you’re compliant with the law, you have this coverage. Your PIP, your no-fault
coverage, and some people call it full coverage – i’m going to come back to that
in a minute – but you’ve got this coverage with you wherever you go, and if you get
into an accident, regardless of whether you caused the accident or someone else
caused the accident, you have this PIP that will pay your medical bills and
lost wages up to$10,000. Now let’s go back to that full coverage
phrase. I hate that phrase. People come to me all the time saying they have full
coverage. Well, what does that mean? It really only means that they are fully
compliant with Florida’s law, that you have the threshold and really its
minimum insurance. If you’re driving around out there and buy your insurance
from an insurance agent, and you go online to get your insurance, all you
really care about at that moment is spending as little money as possible on
your insurance bill, but that means you get as little insurance as possible for
your money. So you have this thing you call full coverage, and you feel like
you’re fully covered, but you’re really not. There are a lot of different kinds
of coverages; collision for example which is optional which covers your car, which covers you in the event the
person that hurts you did not have sufficient insurance to help you. There’s a lot of insurance we could get
into but today I just want to talk about this no fault idea. So if you not get
into an accident and you caused the accident, i’m going to think “well, gosh,
your insurance company should pay for my medical bills. It should pay for everything,
right? I mean why should my insurance rates go
up because you were negligent and you rear-ended me?” Well, in a no-fault state,
it doesn’t matter that that you were at fault in hitting me. i have my no-fault
coverage. i have my PIP and that’s what I use when I go to the emergency room. I
go to my doctor. I go to healthcare providers of any kind. They get billed
first up to $10,000. Now the at-fault party pays 20% of
the medical bill and pays 40% of the lost wage, but there’s still
secondary. They’re not the primary payoff. Now you’re thinking that makes no sense.
Marcus that doesn’t make any sense. I’m sitting so polite and somebody rear-ends me,
and my insurance has to pay? Let me tell you why that is and maybe it’ll
help you accept it a little more. The reason behind it is this…if you and I
get into an accident, and it’s a fault-based state, one of us has to prove
to the healthcare provider who was at fault before the right people get billed,
right? And it might keep us from getting health care. If you claim you had the
green light, and I claim I had the green light, and our insurance companies can’t
agree as to whose fault it was and the law enforcement officers not
really sure, we have to find out the fault issue before we can get our health care, before our health care bills can be paid.
The no-fault system says we’re not going to squabble in court. We’re not going to fight that liability
fight. It doesn’t matter. It’s a no fault state…meaning fault does not matter in
getting the bills paid initially. Alright, here’s the funny part of this whole
story. The no-fault system all goes away once one thing is proven, and that’s a
permanent injury. Once you have a permanent injury and you can demonstrate a permanent injury, it’s a more fault-based system, and
that’s what I’m going to talk about next time. Stay with us on our video blog.
We’re going to make you smarter on the issues of no-fault insurance and car
accidents and the world of personal injury, but if you’ve got questions about
the no-fault system, Give me a call. I don’t sell insurance so
i don’t have a dog in that fight, but I’ll help you through that if you want
to. Give me a call. Let me know what you want to hear about on the show. Thanks for tuning in. I’m Marcus Michles
at Michles & Booth. Have a great week!