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Michigan No-Fault insurance “reform” changes passed by House committee

October 14, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Insurance attorney urges Michigan drivers to oppose HB 4936: PIP Choice

I’m very disappointed to report that a Michigan House of Representatives committee has approved major changes to our No-Fault auto insurance system on Thursday.

Despite last-minute changes and requests for more testimony, Rep. Pete Lund (R-Shelby Twp.) moved ahead with the vote. Lund is chairman of the insurance committee.

As I’ve been blogging about almost daily, our current No-Fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits pay for a lifetime of medical expenses if someone is seriously injured in a car accident or a truck accident.

The proposed “PIP Choice” legislation (HB 4936) would give drivers the choice to purchase either $500,000, $1 million or $5 million worth of insurance coverage.

These coverage amounts are not enough to cover people with catastrophic injuries, such as spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury. So in the future, and for the people who are already injured, people will not get the medical coverage or medical care they require to live a healthy life and recover the best they can.

As I’ve also been saying all along, under this new law, accident victims (and their families) would be forced to be covered by Medicaid and to file lawsuits to get the medical care they require and deserve. This shifts the burden of paying from the deep-pocketed, very profitable auto insurance companies to the taxpayers. Meanwhile, there is absolutely no proof that these changes to our No-Fault law would save policy holders money, as the insurance lobby and conservative lawmakers tout.

What is the goal here? If it’s to make auto insurance companies richer, then our law makers are doing a great job. If it’s to leave seriously injured people who need a lifetime of medical care vulnerable and suffering, then way to go Michigan law makers. We are almost there.

The bill will now to go the full House for a vote.

I urge all Michigan drivers to please, oppose HB 4936.

Steven Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top insurance attorneys handling serious auto accident cases. He frequently writes about Michigan No-Fault law and is available for comment.

Related information to protect yourself:

Study highlights dangers of No-Fault “reform”

Michigan No-Fault insurance resource center

Your Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits

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. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our insurance attorneys.

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