Florida insured drivers are required to carry minimum limits of “no fault” auto insurance commonly referred to as “Personal Injury Protection” coverage or “PIP.” A Florida PIP insurance policy generally pays benefits equal to 80% of the cost of medical bills and / or 60% of lost wages up to a total of $10,000.00. A trip to the emergency room followed by several weeks of a doctor’s care may quickly use up these available insurance benefits.
Once PIP benefits are exhausted, how does an injured person pay for the costs of surgery and rehabilitative care in the absence of private health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid? The at-fault driver’s insurance policy may seem like the best source of funds; however, liability insurance companies rarely advance funds for surgery and generally prefer to make one lump settlement payment to the injured party at the conclusion of the case.
Instead, the best option (provided the doctor and hospital agree), is something called a “Letter of Protection” or “LOP.” By signing a letter of protection, the client agrees to pay the doctor, hospital and other healthcare providers out of their settlement at the end of the case. In other words, the patient is permitted to receive the medical care and agrees to ulitmately pay for the cost of it once settlement funds are received — think of it as running a tab with your doctor. Under this arrangement, an injured patient does not need to postpone surgery until after a settlement comes through.