TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – A bill designed to cut back at auto insurance fraud has cleared a House panel.

On Wednesday, in a party line vote of 10-5, the Civil Justice Subcommittee approved the bill (CS/HB 119) which addresses the state’s mandatory personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. The proposed law requires those hurt in a wreck to be seen in a hospital emergency room or hospital-owned walk-in clinic for PIP coverage to kick in.

PIP insurance pays up to $10,000 to cover medical bills and lost wages after an accident. It doesn’t matter who caused the wreck. All Florida drivers must carry such “no-fault” insurance.

But those taking advantage of the coverage have turned Florida into the top state for staged accidents. PIP fraud in the state is estimated to reach $1 billion this year.

(TM and © Copyright 20121 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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