Employees and retirees are not one bit protected with this coverage, due to deceptive policy language, says Michigan insurance attorney
Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company is last but not least on my list of the worst insurance companies.
This insurance company would be at the top, if it weren’t for the fact that the insurance is reserved for Chrysler employees and retirees only – not affecting as much of the general public as companies like Allstate or Farm Bureau. Still, our insurance attorneys want to stress that what Daimler Chrysler Insurance is doing to its own employees and retirees is horrible.
In Abay v. Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company, et al., Mira Abay, a kind mother of three, was killed when a drunken, cocaine-using defendant crashed into her vehicle. Ms. Abay’s estate sued the defendant and won a $3.5 million jury verdict. But the estate was unable to collect, because Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company’s liability insurance didn’t actually provide the coverage that its policy misleads insured customers into believing is there.
Here’s why: Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company’s policy was actually designed to deny its “insureds” the No fault insurance benefits (also called personal injury protection or PIP benefits) they purchased. This has to do with the person labeled as the “named insured” on the Daimler Chrysler Insurance policy.
According to the Michigan No fault Act, the identity of the “named insured” (“the person named in the policy”) is critical to whether an insurer is liable for No-fault insurance benefits. In particular, Michigan No- fault law mandates that an insurer, such as Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company, is obligated to pay an auto accident victim’s PIP benefits if the victim is either a “named insured” on the insurer’s policy, or if the victim is related to a “named insured” or was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a “named insured.”
How Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company avoided liability for No-fault insurance claims
In order to insulate itself from No-fault liability, Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company chose a “named insured” who could never be an accident victim, or a victim’s family member, or the driver of a vehicle involved in an auto accident.
Of course, that necessarily ruled out the otherwise obvious, common sense choice of the so-called “insureds” who were actually paying the premiums on Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company’s policies.
Instead, Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company chose “Daimler Chrysler Corporation” – itself – as its “named insured.”
How Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company’s twisted policy affects Michigan families
In Michigan alone, there are approximately 8,000 vehicles covered by Daimler Chrysler Corporation’s employee/retiree lease program. As a condition of the program, participants must purchase all of their auto insurance, including No-fault coverage, from only Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company.
Now, whenever a premium-paying “insured” tries to use the policy’s liability coverage, DCIC can say: “Sorry, the liability coverage is only for the ‘named insured’ and you’re not a ‘named insured.’ We’re quite certain of that.”
The DCIC scheme is scary not only for the way it has jeopardized Ms. Abay’s estate’s ability to recover on the $3.5 million verdict against the defendant. It is scary for the implications it has beyond the Abay case.
Have you had difficulties with Daimler Chrysler Insurance Company? Share them with our insurance attorneys by making a comment below, or on our Facebook page.
– Steve Gursten is head of Michigan Auto Law. He is recognized as one of the nation’s top insurance attorneys handling serious car accident and truck accident injury cases. Michigan Auto Law has received the highest jury verdict for a car accident or truck accident in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
Additional resources to protect yourself:
Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident and No-Fault insurance lawsuits throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with an insurance attorney. We are here to help you.