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Show us the money from proposed changes to our No-Fault law

April 29, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Insurance lawyer reminds Michigan drivers that we’ve been lied to many times by promised savings from the insurance industry – that never materialized

“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

The Michigan auto insurance industry is trying to dismantle the crown jewel of Michigan’s No-Fault system: unlimited, lifetime medical benefits for seriously and catastrophically injured auto accident victims, despite record-breaking profits and the fact that these costs will shift to taxpayers and Medicaid.

The insurance industry is doing this by pushing proposed senate bills that would drastically alter No-Fault benefits that accident victims receive.

In return for allowing the Michigan Legislature to scrap what even the Insurance Institute of Michigan has grudgingly admitted is “the best auto insurance coverage in the country,” the insurance companies are promising us savings on our auto insurance premiums. The insurance company lobbyists and spin machines are actually telling Michigan drivers that we will save money if our legal rights are taken away.

Reality is a much different story, as it always has been when the insurance industry has taken away people’s No-Fault benefits or restricted our legal rights in return for promised savings.

The Michigan insurance industry’s track record of broken promises of savings to consumers is decades-old. In the 1970’s, the Michigan auto insurance industry got the Legislature to pass the No-Fault law (it now vilifies) on the promise that No-Fault would save drivers money. Today, Michigan’s auto insurance rates are supposedly some of the highest in the country.

Additionally, in the mid-1990’s, the auto insurance industry made another empty promise of savings when it conned the Legislature to change our personal injury law to make it nearly impossible for Michigan auto accident victims to sue for pain and suffering. Thousands of innocent, seriously injured people were turned away from the courts by what became the nation’s harshest personal injury threshold law. But our promised savings never materialized.

Empty promises: Let’s see a guarantee in exchange for giving up our insurance rights

The current senate bills to gut No-Fault center on how Michigan drivers’ insurance benefits will be cut. They also limit the fees that doctors who treat auto accident victims can charge, and the amount that attendant care for catastrophically injured people will be reimbursed.

But no where in those bills is there a single line detailing how much savings Michigan drivers will be guaranteed in return for giving up the benefits currently available to them under the “best auto insurance coverage in the country.”

From best insurance protection in the nation to this, and for what?

Even if the insurance industry’s proposed changes to the No-Fault law are enacted, Michigan drivers will still continue to pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country. For instance, based on the figures released by Insure.com, a 10 percent savings would put Michigan just behind Louisiana with the country’s second highest rate. And, a savings of 30 percent would put Michigan just after Connecticut with the country’s 12th highest rate.

We’ve heard these promises before. The Michigan auto insurance industry wants us to accept less now in return for the unenforceable “promise” of unspecified and uncertain savings sometime – possibly in the future.

We cannot let the Michigan auto insurance industry do it to us again. Before we agree to any changes to “the best auto insurance coverage in the country,” we must demand that the Michigan auto insurance industry first show (and guarantee) us the savings.

Steve Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top insurance lawyers handling serious auto accident lawsuits. He writes about insurance company abuse and the No-Fault laws in Michigan.

Related information:

It’s not just Michigan’s insurance lawyers that want to save No-Fault

Michigan’s No-Fault insurance benefits

Time to kill Michigan’s No-Fault insurance system?

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 (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our No-Fault insurance lawyers.

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