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Tag Archives: Michigan No-Fault reform

Part II: What’s so bad about capping No Fault benefits?

My response as an insurance attorney helping car accident victims

Attorney Steven Gursten Michigan Auto Law

Those who disagree with me often accuse me of bias. Perhaps this is true. After all, I help the people who depend on No Fault. For nearly 20 years, I’ve seen firsthand the consequences of what happens to people and their families after serious automobile accidents. And as President of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association for the last two years, I’ve traveled around the nation educating lawyers who handle car accident litigation; so I’ve been able to compare Michigan to many other states.

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What’s so bad about capping No Fault PIP benefits?

Plenty! No guarantee of savings for consumers; financial ruin for injured; higher health insurance; taxpayer burden; more lawsuits

pip benefit cuts

It’s a fair question.  What’s so bad about capping No Fault PIP?  And as an insurance lawyer, it’s a question I hear often.

A recent question on Michigan Auto Law’s Facebook page reminded me that I’ve never answered this question on this blog.  Essentially, the question was what’s so wrong about capping No Fault PIP and medical benefits at $10,000 or $50,000 in this state.

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“Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Pilot Program” under new No Fault “reform” plan

Not low cost and not a lot of coverage

Low Cost Automobile Insurance Pilot Program

The saying is: “You get what you pay for.”

With respect to the “Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Pilot Program” proposed by House Speaker Jase Bolger and the House Republicans in their latest No Fault “reform” draft plan called Substitute for HB 4612, it’s probable that folks who buy into the low cost pilot program will not even be that lucky.

Here’s why  (the page numbers below refer to the full, 91-page draft bill):

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Giving insurance companies a “get out of jail free” card when they harm people

Under House Speaker Bolger’s new No Fault “reform” plan, auto accident victims’ ability to seek redress when PIP benefits are denied or cut off is severely limited

get out of jail free card for insurance companies

House Speaker Jase Bolger’s “Substitute for HB 4612″ will make litigation even  more difficult for car accident victims when they must hire a lawyer to challenge wrongful denials and/or illegal cut-offs  of No Fault PIP insurance benefits.

Bolger’s plan has many new and  devastating restrictions on the legal rights of injured crash victims to seek No Fault insurance benefits when an insurance company refuses to pay valid claims or wrongfully cuts people off from medical care, wage loss and attendant care.

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No Fault “reform” plan Substitute for HB 4612: Making it easier for auto insurers to deny, terminate auto accident victims’ PIP benefits

A playing field that already heavily favors insurance companies over auto accident victims will become even more unfair for consumers

unfair_field

As I wrote yesterday, the ideas put forth under Speaker Bolger’s Substitute for HB 4612 will make it harder for crash victims to recover PIP benefits they desperately need.  And it will make it easier for insurers to deny a legitimate claim.

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New No Fault “reform” plan: Making it more difficult for accident victims to show they’re entitled to PIP benefits

The playing field tilts dangerously in favor of insurance companies, if new proposed No Fault reforms in “Substitute for HB 4612″ are enacted

unfair_field

The last thing injured auto accident victims need today is a harder time attempting to recover the No Fault insurance benefits, such as medical expense reimbursement and vehicle modifications, that they’re entitled.

As I’ve written before, Michigan is a state without bad faith insurance laws, punitive damages, or even a Consumer Protection Act that can protect consumers from insurance companies who deliberately cause harm by wrongfully withholding vital insurance benefits.

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Dangerous caps on No Fault PIP benefits under House Speaker Bolger’s new No Fault “reform” plan

Michigan No Fault insurance would be radically re-structured with caps in many areas, including medical treatment and attendant care

House Speaker Jase Bolger

House Speaker Jase Bolger is proposing a new No Fault insurance “reform” draft plan called “Substitute for HB 4612.” As I wrote in a previous post, drivers stand a lose a heck of a lot, while the insurance industry will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Below are the new, completely unprecedented, and permanent caps and limitations on the PIP (personal injury protection) insurance benefits and other legal protections currently provided by Michigan’s No Fault law.  These new caps will devastate auto accident victims.

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Oakland, Wayne, Macomb County Execs say NO to Michigan No Fault insurance “reform”

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and his Wayne and Macomb County counterparts Robert Ficano and Mark Hackel unite against House Speaker Jase Bolger’s latest plan

 

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson opposes House Speaker Bolger's latest No Fault "reform" plan

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson opposes House Speaker Bolger’s latest No Fault “reform” plan

Today I had the pleasure of supporting and listening to Southeast  Michigan’s three county executives. All three sent a unified message to Lansing lawmakers and to the public as to where they stand with proposed changes to Michigan’s No Fault laws, issuing a resounding “NO” to efforts to dismantle its important legal protections.

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My conversation with House Speaker Jase Bolger on his No Fault insurance “reform” plan

House Speaker Jase Bolger

I thought my running dialogue with Speaker Bolger last week might make for some interesting – and very insightful – reading.

First, by way of background, last week House Speaker Jase Bolger posted an editorial in The Detroit News regarding his proposed No Fault insurance “reform” plan.

I’ve been an outspoken critic, and I have said there are many problems with Bolger’s No Fault plan. The biggest problem in my eyes is that consumers will lose far more than they would gain , while the auto insurance companies will be laughing all the way to the bank.

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Existing No Fault cost controls make proposed medical-provider fee schedule unnecessary, boondoggle for insurance industry

Existing No Fault cost-controls ensure that auto insurers “pay no more than a reasonable charge,” as former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Clifford W. Taylor has said

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Clifford W. Taylor

There is very little that I would probably ever agree on with former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Clifford W. Taylor.  To the public, he is best known as the “sleeping Judge.” But to the state’s lawyers and judges, he’s associated with a darker side.

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