Does Using PIP Insurance Raise Your Rates in Florida?

Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is required for all drivers in Florida. It helps pay initial medical bills after an accident, regardless of fault. But many drivers wonder – will using your PIP benefits cause your insurance rates to increase?

The short answer is no – filing a PIP claim should not directly lead to higher premiums. However, your insurer may still try to raise your rates improperly. Understanding Florida PIP laws can help protect you if this occurs.

What is PIP Insurance?

Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means your own PIP coverage pays medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.

Key facts about mandatory Florida PIP coverage:

  • Covers 80% of medical costs and 60% of lost wages
  • Minimum policy limit is $10,000
  • Deductibles available to reduce premium cost
  • Must seek treatment within 14 days to claim benefits
  • Pays whether you caused the accident or not

Without PIP, you’d have to sue the at-fault driver to recover medical costs. PIP provides faster access to benefits.

Why PIP Usage Should Not Affect Rates

There are a few reasons filing a PIP claim should not directly raise your premiums:

  • It’s required by law – Florida law mandates drivers carry PIP, so using it should not be penalized.

  • Premiums already account for it – Insurers calculate premiums expecting some PIP payouts. Higher deductibles lower premiums.

  • No-fault system – Since PIP pays regardless of fault, claims don’t indicate higher risk.

  • Accidents aren’t guaranteed – Having PIP doesn’t mean you’ll have an accident and need benefits.

So in most cases, using your PIP after an accident is not grounds for increasing your insurance rates.

Florida Laws Protecting Against Rate Hikes

Florida has laws in place to prevent insurers from improperly raising your premiums:

  • F.S. 626.9541 – Prohibits unjust rate increases or policy cancellation.

  • F.S. 627.06501 – Rate changes must be actuarially justified.

  • F.S. 627.0651 – Mid-term cancellation only allowed for fraud, nonpayment or license suspension.

These laws help protect consumers from unfair rate hikes after an accident. But some insurers still try to improperly increase premiums.

Why Insurers May Still Try to Raise Rates

Some reasons an insurer may attempt to jack up your premiums after a PIP claim:

  • Hope you don’t understand your rights and overpay
  • Discourage further PIP claims by you and others
  • Generate higher profits from raised rates
  • Falsely classify you as “high risk” despite no-fault PIP

But these motives clearly violate Florida laws protecting consumers. Don’t let an insurer take advantage of you this way.

Policy Cancellation vs. Rate Increases

Insurers can legally cancel your policy mid-term only if:

  • You commit fraud or material misrepresentation
  • You fail to pay the premium
  • Your driver’s license is suspended

Otherwise they must wait until renewal time. Rate hikes are more common than cancellation after PIP claims.

How to Fight Back Against Illegal Rate Hikes

If your insurer hits you with an unjustified rate increase after using PIP:

  • Request a detailed explanation for the rate change in writing. They must provide evidence it’s warranted.

  • File a complaint with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation if it seems improper.

  • Consult a lawyer who can review the rate change and protect your rights. They can negotiate fair rates on your behalf.

  • Switch insurers at renewal time if needed. Comparing rates helps keep companies competitive.

Following up quickly is key to fighting back against improper rate hikes. Don’t let them get away with it.

Example PIP Claims Unlikely to Raise Rates

Minor PIP claims unlikely to warrant a rate increase include:

  • Emergency room visit – One-time ER visit for accident injuries, costs $1,500.

  • Chiropractic treatment – Six weeks of chiropractor visits for neck and back pain, totals $2,000.

  • Medical imaging – CT scan and X-rays to diagnose injuries after crash, amounts to $1,200.

  • Minor lost wages – Two weeks off work recovering from concussion, lost income totals $2,000.

None of these routine PIP claims should directly cause your premiums to rise. Beware of insurers claiming otherwise.

Can Using Large Amounts of PIP Affect Premiums?

Insurers can legally raise rates based on factors indicating higher risk. Large PIP claims may get an insurer’s attention, but don’t automatically justify a rate hike.

For example, if high medical bills were due to the severity of the accident rather than personal risk factors, the insurer should not increase premiums.

The key is that rate hikes must be actuarially justified based on your risk profile. Don’t let an insurer arbitrarily raise premiums.

How Lawyers Can Help with PIP Rate Hikes

If hit with higher premiums after filing a PIP claim, contact a lawyer for assistance:

  • They can review your policy and determine if the rate hike is allowed.

  • They will demand justification from the insurer and negotiate fair rates on your behalf.

  • If the increase is improper, they can file regulatory complaints against the insurer.

  • They can advise whether you should switch insurers at renewal time.

Having strong legal advocacy makes a big difference in fighting back against unjustified rate increases.

The Bottom Line on PIP and Insurance Rates

Florida’s no-fault PIP system is designed to promptly help injured accident victims get medical treatment. This benefit should not come at the cost of substantially higher insurance premiums down the road.

While PIP claims could theoretically increase your risk profile with an insurer, they often will not in practice. Minor PIP claims for routine accident injuries clearly do not warrant rate hikes.

Make sure you understand your legal rights as a Florida insurance consumer. With smart legal representation, you can push back against any improper rate increases and demand fair insurance costs.

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Will PIP make my insurance go up?

The short answer is that using your PIP insurance shouldn’t cause your rates to go up or your policy to be cancelled.

Is it a good idea to have PIP?

In states where PIP is optional, it’s generally a good coverage to have. That’s because PIP can help cover expenses, such as your health insurance deductible, lost wages and replacement services for tasks you cannot perform due to your injuries, such as child care or house cleaning.

How to avoid PIP insurance?

There are two conditions that must be met for an individual to opt out of PIP medical coverage. The named insured must have BOTH Parts A and B of Medicare, and • All other household members must have qualified health coverage or must be covered under another auto policy with PIP medical coverage.

What does PIP do in insurance?

What is personal injury protection? Personal injury protection (PIP), also known as no-fault insurance, covers medical expenses and lost wages for you and your passengers if you’re injured in an accident. PIP coverage protects you regardless of who’s at fault.

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