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No Excuse to Celebrate Michigan Insurance Company Gouging

February 5, 2010 by Steven M. Gursten

Car Accident Lawyer Responds to Remark by Insurance Institute of Michigan on Obscene, Unregulated Auto Insurance Profits

An engaged reader recently inquired about a blog I wrote last year on the regulation of Michigan auto insurance rates. Donna wanted me to elaborate on a comment I made, as she was seeking an expanded perspective from a car accident lawyer.

In discussing another round of auto insurance reform bills highlighting the dire need to clean up our no-fault system and support countless injured people who are abused by the insurance companies that are supposed to protect them, I said:

“Michigan law does not require people to purchase GM cars or Google stock, or punish them with civil fines and criminal misdemeanors when they choose not to buy. But every driver must pay for basic auto no-fault insurance to cover their car or truck in Michigan.”

Here’s my response to Donna:

Thank you for your comment. The statement you ask about was in response to a comment by Pete Kuhnmuench, executive director of the Insurance Institute of Michigan. When asked about record-breaking insurance company profits in Michigan, Mr. Kuhnmuench said he did not apologize for such high profit margins: “When GM or Google makes a profit, we celebrate it. Profit is not a dirty thing, it’s a good thing.”

My point is simply this: Unlike GM or Google, Michigan law does not require people to purchase GM cars or Google stock. Since Michigan law does require all Michigan residents to purchase auto insurance, and they will face civil fines and criminal misdemeanors if they drive a car without insurance, it is an unfair and ridiculous comparison.

In Michigan, every driver must pay for basic auto no-fault insurance to cover their vehicles in the event of a car accident or truck accident. If people are going to be required by law to purchase insurance, then the profits that these Michigan insurance companies rake in (which are much higher than in other states) should also be regulated.

Again, it’s an unfair comparison for the Insurance Institute of Michigan to celebrate high profits by comparing a product that people are legally forced to purchase with GM or Google. Finally, note that Michigan is one of the only states remaining in the country that does not regulate the profits that insurance companies make. For a product that we are all legally compelled to purchase, that certainly can — and does — lead to insurance company abuse.

Steven M. Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts in serious car and truck accident injury cases and automobile insurance no-fault litigation. Michigan Auto Law has received the largest reported jury verdict for an automobile accident case in Michigan in seven of the past 10 years, including 2009, according to published year-end verdicts and settlements reports.

Related information:

How to Read Your Auto Insurance Policy

Important Insurance Coverage Issues

Video: What No-Fault Insurance Benefits Are Available?

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases 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 auto accident attorney. We can help.

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