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Michigan’s No Fault system is incredibly valuable … just ask Peter Kuhnmuench of the Insurance Institute Of Michigan

As the auto insurance industry gangs up to restrict our No Fault law in Michigan, words of praise From IIM and its executive director provide perspective

Peter Kuhnmuench, executive director of the Insurance Institute Of Michigan

Peter Kuhnmuench, executive director of the Insurance Institute Of Michigan

Our No Fault Law, and its system for providing No Fault insurance benefits to seriously injured Michigan auto accident victims, is an incredible value.

But don’t take my word for it.

Peter Kuhnmuench, the executive director of the Insurance Institute of Michigan (IIM), knows it too. He and the IIM, the insurance industry’s top trade organization in Michigan, have said so on many occasions.  That is, these things were said of our No Fault system before IIM and insurance industry groups began working  to add insurance company “plums” that would increase profits and take away valuable legal protections to injured drivers.

For nearly 40 years, Michigan’s No Fault Law has guaranteed that seriously injured auto accident victims will receive all reasonably necessary lifetime medical benefits to pay for the needed medical expenses associated with the products, services and accommodations.  These expenses are required to be “reasonably necessary” for an accident victim’s  care, recovery and rehabilitation.

It’s also true that Mr. Kuhnmuench’s and the IIM’s praise and support for Michigan No Fault have been less full-throated than it was before the industry’s legislative blitz in 2012 to push so-called No Fault “reform.”

For more information, click here to read a comprehensive analysis of Michigan No Fault reform and the latest developments.

But Mr. Kuhnmuench’s and the IIM’s observations about Michigan’s No Fault system (as recently as July of 2012) provide important perspective to a debate that is no doubt far from over, especially given Gov. Rick Snyder’s comments in his January 13, 2013, State of the State address where the Governor extolled the lawmakers seated before him:

“It’s time for some reforms, folks. …[W]e should reform no-fault. It is time to do that in a thoughtful way.”

Accordingly, as lawmakers, the governor, the auto insurance industry (and even lawyers like those at Michigan Auto Law who dedicate themselves to helping people who have been seriously injured in car or truck accidents), wrangle over whether Michigan’s No Fault Law should be “reformed” and if so, how; we should all keep in mind the following thoughts from Mr. Kuhnmuench and the IIM:

    • Michigan’s No Fault Law is “a pretty good system, if you compare to other states …” (Insurance Institute of Michigan Executive Director Peter Kuhnmuench, as quoted by MLive writer David Muller in “Insurance industry reps: Detroit auto premiums high because of crime, state coverage limits,” July 30, 2012)
    • “Auto insurance prices in Michigan are reasonable — especially considering the high level of benefits provided to consumers. …” (Insurance Institute of Michigan, 2012 IIM Fact Book, Page 20)
    • “The cost of Michigan’s [No Fault] auto insurance system is reasonable — considering that Michigan has the highest level of auto insurance  medical benefits in the country.” (Insurance Institute of Michigan, IIM web site, Consumers — Auto Insurance (10/25/2011)
    • “‘Michigan is fortunate to have a healthy auto insurance market where competition, safer cars and company fraud fighting efforts have resulted in lower [No Fault auto insurance] costs for policyholders.’” (Insurance Institute of Michigan, “National Study Shows Average Auto Insurance Premiums in Michigan Falling,” December 21, 2010, Press Release, quoting IIM Executive Director Pete Kuhnmuench)
    • “Michigan [auto insurance] premiums rank 11th in the nation, however, the benefits policyholders receive under the no-fault policy in Michigan far outpace benefits available in any other state.” (Insurance Institute of Michigan, “National Study Shows Average Auto Insurance Premiums in Michigan Falling,” December 21, 2010, Press Release)
    • “‘The overall rate decreases demonstrate that insurance companies are keeping costs as low as possible even though Michigan [No Fault] policyholders have the Cadillac of auto insurance policies.’” (Insurance Institute of Michigan, “National Study Shows Average Auto Insurance Premiums in Michigan Falling,” December 21, 2010, Press Release, quoting IIM Executive Director Pete Kuhnmuench)
    • Michigan’s No Fault Law guarantees Michigan drivers “the best auto insurance coverage in the country.” (Insurance Institute of Michigan, “Michigan Average Auto Insurance Premiums Drop,” December 2, 2009, Press Release, quoting IIM Executive Director Pete Kuhnmuench)
    • Michigan No Fault policyholders “‘are getting a bang for their buck when it comes to protecting themselves in the case of a traffic crash.’” (Insurance Institute of Michigan, “Michigan Average Auto Insurance Premiums Drop,” December 2, 2009, Press Release, quoting IIM Executive Director Pete Kuhnmuench)
    • “Michigan is generally recognized as having the most efficient and effective auto insurance law in the United States.” (Insurance Institute of Michigan, 2010 IIM Fact Book, Page 19)
    • Michigan’s No Fault Law guarantees Michigan drivers “the best no-fault medical benefits of any state.” (Insurance Institute of Michigan, “Auto … Insurance Rates Decrease in 2007,” February 7, 2008, press release)
    • “Michigan’s no-fault law [which] requires insurance companies to provide unlimited, lifetime medical benefits to those injured in auto accidents … is generally recognized as … the most efficient and effective auto insurance law in the United States.” (Insurance Institute of Michigan, “No Fault: An overview of Michigan’s unique auto insurance law,” brochure)
    • “The no-fault concept has worked well.” (Insurance Institute of Michigan, “No Fault: An overview of Michigan’s unique auto insurance law,” brochure)

Mr. Kuhnmuench , would you care to respond?

For more information, click here to read a comprehensive analysis of Michigan No Fault reform and the latest developments.


Related Information:

An open letter to Gov. Snyder involving Michigan No-Fault reform

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Blog Author Steven M. Gursten
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