FPCA Automobile Division: Member Draft Legislation Requested On PIP Fraud, Interpleader Issues In Advance of January 29 Meeting

Jan 25, 2010

As discussed during the Florida Property Casualty Association (“FPCA”) Automobile Division meeting on Wednesday, January 20, the FPCA has been requested to provide Florida legislators with ideas for combating Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) fraud and abuse without amending Florida’s No-Fault statutes.

The following proposals for combating PIP fraud were suggested by FPCA Members during the January 20 meeting:

  1. Enforcement of the collection of insurance deductibles and co-pays
  2. Requirement of original signatures in Box 31 of the Health Care Financing Administration form
  3. Enforcement of penalties for unbundling or upcoding
  4. Enactment of severe civil penalties for PIP clinic registration or licensing violations
  5. Enactment of severe civil penalties for unlicensed persons who are found to be rendering PIP-related treatment

Please review the Member PIP fraud proposals outlined above and forward any draft legislation that you or your staff has prepared on these issues to Katie Webb at kwebb@cftlaw.com no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 28, 2010. 

Once all of the proposals are collected, they will be returned to FPCA Members for review prior to the next FPCA conference call, which is scheduled to be held on Friday, January 29 at 11:00 a.m.  The call-in information, agenda and prior meeting minutes will be forthcoming.

Note:  PIP fraud-related legislative proposals offered by the FPCA in previous years and a recent draft of anti-fraud legislation submitted to State Representative Bryan Nelson are attached. 

***Please keep in mind that the attached anti-fraud legislation is a draft that has not been approved in any way by Representative Nelson.  Representative Nelson and his staff will continue to revise this proposal as the 2010 Legislative Session approaches.

Additionally, FPCA Members suggested during the January 20 meeting that an “Interpleader Plus” legislative proposal be drafted and considered as a priority for the 2010 Legislative Session.  Successful interpleader legislation would provide a mechanism for insurers to deposit policy limits with courts until a determination is reached on who is entitled to the benefits.

Previous attempts at drafting an interpleader proposal have led to the draft language below.  In preparation for the January 29 FPCA meeting, please review and provide comments on this, as well as the aforementioned PIP items.

Section 627.7404 is created to read:

            627.7404 Interpleader.–An action for interpleader or in the nature of interpleader may be brought against two or more adverse claimants who claim or may claim entitlement to benefits that may be available pursuant to a policy of motor vehicle insurance.  The claims of the several defendants need not have a common origin or be identical but may be adverse to and independent of each other.  The plaintiff may deny liability in whole or in part to any or all of the defendants.  A defendant may likewise obtain interpleader by way of counterclaim or cross-claim.  The complaint for interpleader shall specify the nature and value of the benefits and must be accompanied by payment or tender into court of the benefits available.  The complaint may request, and the court may grant prior to the entry of an order of interpleader, appropriate ancillary relief, including, but not limited to, preliminary injunctive relief.  Interpleading of policy limits shall be prima facia evidence of good faith on the part of the insurance company.  No part of this section shall limit in any way the joinder of parties otherwise required or permitted by Florida law.