According to Florida statute Statute 627.736(10), any party wanting Personal Injury Protection benefits, also known as PIP benefits, have to officially demand payment from the insurer before they can file a suit. The No Fault Law and Statute 627.736(10) lists the mandatory procedures, which must be applied to the submission and response of the official demand letter. It is important to take note of the following guidelines. They should be thought of as commandments, read carefully and apply them when crafting the demand letter to the insurer:
1. Read the demand letter and attachments several times with attentiveness to ascertain what the demand letter is seeking to prevent the insurer from waiving defenses when responses are issued.
2. Keep in mind an attorney is not a judge, and there is no requirement cave in to the entirety of their demands. No Fault Law outlines the insurer’s obligations clearly in regards to a party wanting reimbursement for there is a lawsuit.
3. When the insurer gets their demand letter they have 30 days to issue a response. It’s vital to have specific procedures for processing PIP letters, it’s vital to note the receipt and response day.
4. Consult with counsel over statute of limitations. Laws change and go through amendments, which can impact a case.
5. Policies usually control. Geico General Insurance Company v. Virtual Imaging Services is an excellent example regarding fee schedules. The Florida Supreme Court’s ruling resulted in insurance companies amending their PIP policies.
6. Read all claim notes because they offer valuable assistance. A claim could potentially aid in the decision of the demand letter.
7. Always go over bills and do number crunching. The treatment and policy time periods have an impact on whether or not the bills were processed due to Florida court precedents paired with state statutes.
8. Make every effort to not pay penalties, interest and even postage. Lawyers will ask for everything, but they aren’t entitled to everything they want. There are Florida statutes, which decide interest rates and penalties, and there are statutes paving a way to avoid penalties, interest or postage in certain instances too.
9. What you say can and will be held against you even in civil court. Craft your letters with great care.
10. Never be late. If a statute says 30 days, then waiting 31 days can result in a lawsuit. Follow statutes quite literally, and throw away the notion of flexibility being acceptable.