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On January 1, 2008, Florida’s no-fault automobile insurance law will be back. On Friday the Florida Legislature submitted which re-enacts a version of the decades old Florida Motor Vehicle No Fault Law. The new law renews many of the old provisions Florida drivers are accustomed to, such as $ 10,000 in medical and wage loss benefits, known as personal injury protection (PIP) benefits which are available to an injured driver (and his/her passengers) from his own insurance company regardless of fault. Under the new law, physicians are generally limited to payments on a fee schedule that is 200% of Medicare’s rates. Hospitals emergency rooms can be paid 75% of their bill. In order for clinics to be paid, they must be owned by physicians or specialists.
For the next three months, however, no “no-fault” coverage is required. Drivers should either choose an insurance company that is offering voluntary “no fault” coverage if renewing a policy before January 1, 2008, or they should buy a policy with plenty of medical payments coverage, a voluntary medical benefit that has been on the market for decades for an additional premium. Governor Crist is expected to sign the new bill into law this week.