Lawmakers Consider Changes To No-Fault Auto Insurance

LANSING (WWJ) – Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law are the subject of hearings that opened in the state capitol Tuesday.

The rising cost of health care is leading members of Michigan’s insurance industry to push for changes in the state’s no-fault auto insurance law that offers unlimited lifetime injury and rehabilitation benefits, according to Pete Kuhnmuench, executive director of the Insurance Institute of Michigan.

“We’ve recognized some real problems in our no-fault system, long term, that we’d like to address and that’s the escalating cost that come with that unlimited lifetime medical benefit,” Kuhnmuench said.

But, supporters of the law, like John Truscott, say changing it will leave many people out in the cold.

“We limit the amount of lawsuits. We limit the amount of harm and damage to the drivers and we provide probably one of the best rehab-type service facilities in full coverage for traumatic injuries of anywhere in the country,” Truscott said. “For paying a few dollars more a year, you’re getting the best coverage and the best protection of any state in the country.”

Some emotional testimony Tuesday included that of Erica Nader Coulston from Southfield who was paralyzed in a car accident a decade ago. She said no fault insurance allowed her to receive the care she needed.

“I’m not 100 percent completely independent in my daily needs, but I am more independent that I was 10 years ago or even three years ago because I am able to continue with my rehabilitation,” Coulston said.

Coulston owns Walk the Line to SCI Recovery, a rehab center in Southfield, which helps people regain mobility.  She said the insurance company claim that changing the No Fault Law would result in lower premiums is misleading.

“There is nothing in the bill that says insurance rates will go down,” Coulston said, adding that without No Fault insurance, people who are badly injured in car accidents would be forced to rely on Medicare or Medicaid.

Under the two bill package before the House insurance committee, unlimited coverage would be replaced with a choice of coverage ranging from $250,000 to $5 million per person, per occurrence. It would also include a medical fee schedule as part of the effort to control medical costs.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Michael says:

    A few extra dollars? And, just what is your idea of a few extra dollars? ” A few extra dollars” in the same paragraph with ” Insurance Company” , is an Oxymoron. What kind of Moron are YOU?

    1. A Grinblatt says:

      I thought 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on auto insurance.
      I thought the “good neighbor” cave me 30% on auto insurance.

      Now you’re telling me that that I need to cut my benefits to save.Thank but no thanks.

      PLEASE leave me alone.

  2. Pat from Algonac says:

    Do state republicans do anything else but find ways for major business to reduce costs? If my ten year old grandson gets hit by a negligent driver and needs care the rest of his life, the insurance company gets off the hook and he goes on disability which is paid for with my tax dollars. Business greed in this country is out of control and shameful.

  3. Gerry Flood says:

    The WHOLE point of the original ‘NO FAULT’ concept was to provide unlimited lifetime benefits, not some coverage to those who could afford it and leave the unlucky to charity care. Nobody’s rates will drop but profits will rise and some per sucker, maybe you, will suffer.

  4. V R says:

    The reason premiums are so high is because of the unlimited medical. Most people cannot afford the cost of insurance the way it is now so they are choosing to drive with no coverage. People should have the right to chose for themselves how much coverage they want so they can atleast have some coverage instead of none! The option to have unlimited will still be available for those who can afford it. If they give people the option to buy $50,000.00 and up, then premiums WILL drop. But having a minium choice of $250,000.00 and up is not going to help lower the cost!

  5. Greg K says:

    Premiums aren’t so high, that’s just the insurance companies tactic to make you believe that they are due to the unlimited medical coverage. In fact, if one did their homework they would discover that Michigan is ranked the 11th highest state for auto insurance coverage in the nation, but Michigan has by far and away the best coverage for medical care. Therefore, how are insurance premiums currently too “high” if there are 10 other states in our country who are paying more for less coverage?

    Also, the money on premiums that the insurance company wants to “save” you is approximately $134 per year. Are you kidding me?!?!? A measley $134 per year to take away lifetime medical coverage if catastrophically injured…What a joke!

  6. Erica Nader Coulston says:

    There is also a provision in House BIll 4936 that will prohibit Auto No-fault Reform from ever coming to a public vote– what kind of democracy is this? It makes me wonder how they can call this “PIP choice” when we don’t have a say? What are they afraid of?

  7. Jim says:

    VR, You are so wrong. The medical portion of your premium is about 10% of your premium. Please review your policy, it will be coded med. Worse yet, there is nothing in the bill that states that insurance companies have to lower rates. This is justa big insurer money grab. Stop drinking their kool-aid!

  8. Joan Steele says:

    My 22 year old daughter was injured in a car accident which left her a C5 Quadriplegic. Through rehab, she has learned to feed herself, write with adaptive tools and build her upper body strength. Her first 3 weeks in the hospital following the accident exceeded 1 million dollars. I remember voting in favor of this insurance coverage and thinking…of course I would want anyone who had to suffer such a loss to not have to stress over medical costs. Well, it turned out to happen to my family. I do not understand the greed and motivation behind this effort to change this coverage.

  9. Jim says:

    With all the problems in this State that need to be addressed, some legislators are spending all this time and energy to mess up a system that actually works well, helps people in great need, creates jobs and improves the quality of life for injured people and their families.All so out state insurance companies can make more money.Worse yet, they make it so a referendum is not possible by attaching appropiations to the bill. Feels very Un- American.

  10. Erika says:

    This State is controlled by big business. What do you expect anymore. Doing the right thing is a thing of the past.

  11. Susan says:

    You spend approx. $145/year for lifetime medical coverage with our current No-Fault ins. system. The insurance industry is trying to convince insureds that you are paying too much. What other system could provide lifetime care for $145/yea?. If you had to pay for the care with helath ins. you would exhaust your health ins. and then find yourself on Medicaid. The ins. companies? Oh, they woudl enjoy a HUGE profit at your expense.

  12. Jim says:

    The $145 cost is projected to increase 1.9% in 2012. The insurance companies are just attempting to reduce benefits so they can make more money. The legislators promoting these bills should be ashamed of themselves.

  13. Randy says:

    Any legislator who votes for this change and handcuffs our citizens in ever voting on the law is choosing to act against their constituents and needs to recognize this issue will be front and center for the next election. Michigan citizens always deserve the best representation and no party shoud ever deny that.

  14. Bernie says:

    OK people, what you should read is the latest indepentent auditors’ audit of the accounting practice of the “MCCA”. You will be blown away by what you read. Esspecially the part about certain accounting practices that are not proper. You all can get copies of thier financial statements from 1978 thru the present. Freedom of Information Act baby. I requested copies and they told me it would cost me approx. $500.00 to pay for the photo copies hmmmmmm. MCCA of Michigan charges every insurance company the “fee” and in turn the insurance companies past that “fee” on to you and I, the “fee” is separate from what your actual “insurance” is costing you. You pay the “fee” for every “vehicle” you have on the road.

  15. Bernard Munson says:

    OK people, what you should read is the latest indepentent auditors’ audit of the accounting practice of the “MCCA”. You will be blown away by what you read. Esspecially the part about certain accounting practices that are not proper. You all can get copies of thier financial statements from 1978 thru the present. Freedom of Information Act baby. I requested copies and they told me it would cost me approx. $500.00 to pay for the photo copies hmmmmmm. MCCA of Michigan charges every insurance company the “fee” and in turn the insurance companies past that “fee” on to you and I, the “fee” is separate from what your actual “insurance” is costing you. You pay the “fee” for every “vehicle” you have on the road.

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  17. Automobile Insurers says:

    I have seen that car insurance businesses know the vehicles which are at risk from accidents and also other risks. Additionally, they know what sort of cars are inclined to higher risk and the higher risk they’ve the higher the actual premium fee. Understanding the very simple basics of car insurance will allow you to choose the right style of insurance policy that could take care of your family needs in case you get involved in any accident. Thank you sharing the actual ideas on the blog.Automobile Insurers

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