Rep. Phil Cavanagh (D-Redford Township), makes an incredibly important point in his guest blog post today.
Referring to testimony at the recent House Insurance Committee hearing on House Bill 4612 that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association is “unsustainable” and it is hurting insurers’ credit ratings (when did this become a concern of the Michigan Legislature?), Rep. Cavanagh asks the obvious and logical question:
The pressure for transparency into its rate-calculation process continues to build against the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association.
On April 16, 2013, Rep. Phil Cavanagh (D-Redford Township), sponsored House Bill 4551, which proposed that the MCCA be required to comply with the Michigan Open Meetings Act and the Michigan Freedom of Information Act:
“The business that the board may perform shall be conducted at a public meeting of the board held in compliance with the Open Meetings Act …”
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I’m pleased and honored to welcome Michigan State Sen. Glenn S. Anderson (D-6th District) and his guest post today. Senator Anderson’s post is included in its entirety below.
Sen. Anderson has been an advocate for greater transparency from the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA). He’s currently is the primary sponsor for Senate Bills 102 and 103, which, if passed, will require the MCCA to comply with disclosure and openness requirements of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Michigan Open Meetings Act.
I was interviewed last week by Lester Graham on National Public Radio about the MCCA. There is an information vacuum that currently exists, in the midst of an insurance industry push for No Fault insurance caps and even some calls for the MCCA to be dissolved. But two of its most recent Annual Reports to the Insurance Commissioner show that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) is paying its bills, and it’s got money in the bank:
The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) will be forced to provide unprecedented transparency into its process for calculating and increasing per-vehicle assessment rates, under a pair of bills recently introduced in the Michigan Senate.
Introduced on January 29, 2013, by Senators Glenn Anderson (D-6th District), Steven Bieda (D-9th District), Vincent Gregory (D-14th District) and Coleman Young II (D-1st District), Senate Bill 102 and Senate Bill 103 would require:
I was interviewed last week by Michigan Lawyers Weekly newspaper as an attorney familiar with no fault insurance litigation. This was after the court ruling that forces the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and disclose its workings to the public.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the MCCA: It’s a private, nonprofit association made up of a five-person board (comprised from the insurance industry) who manage the fund that compensates auto insurance companies when a no-fault claim exceeds $500,000.
And one of the causes of these high rates is the annual per-vehicle assessment rate charged by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA). These charges, and substantial increases in charges in years such as in 2012, have been made in total secrecy. No information has been provided about how much money the MCCA has.
Our No-Fault insurance rights are currently under attack in Michigan. There are several proposed No-Fault “reform” bills that would devastate the rights of the most seriously injured auto accident victims — especially those with spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries — by capping their rights to necessary medical benefits.
The insurance industry is claiming that the current No-Fault insurance system in Michigan is unsustainable, and without these reforms (read: profit-building measures to avoid paying on legitimate claims), the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) will go bankrupt.
Something is rotten in Denmark, and the Michigan Brain Injury Association wants to investigate.
The Michigan Brain Injury Association (MBIA), is suing the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA). This lawsuit comes after a huge rate hike, which is very suspect, as it coincides with a huge push by the insurance industry to dismantle Michigan No-Fault and cap medical benefits. Many observers feel the rate hike is strongly connected with a political agenda, and not with a need to increase fees for the MCCA.
Michigan drivers deserve the real story about the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association.
Especially when the insurance industry executives that make up the MCCA board are asking drivers to pay the highest per vehicle assessment costs ever. But a straight story is hardly what Michigan drivers are getting when it comes to the MCCA. In fact, the public can’t even look at the numbers. Instead we are asked to take their word for it, at the same time that the insurance industry is pushing for wide-ranging No-Fault changes.