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Michigan Insurance Coalition and Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, 2 Peas in a Pod

May 23, 2012 by Steven M. Gursten

The time for transparency with regard to Michigan no-fault insurance is clearly upon us. But that’s not what the Michigan Insurance Coalition’s Kurt D. Gallinger wants for Michigan drivers.

On April 19th, Rep. Philip Cavanagh (17th District, Michigan House of Representatives) called the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to the mat:

The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association is an insurance fund that provides for drivers who are catastrophically injured in an auto accident. The MCCA reimburses insurers for all benefits that exceed $500,000, spreading costs among all motorists. Every year, the MCCA board reviews what is needed to keep the fund solvent and then adjusts the rate. Since 2000, the MCCA has raised the rates from $5.60 to $145 per vehicle. That works out to an astounding 2,489% increase.
The MCCA is funded by the public’s money and has almost $14 billion of our money that we in Michigan could use right now, yet rates are set behind closed doors. They hire their own auditors, whose conclusions are favorable to the MCCA at the expense of motorists.

We need to shine a light and open up this association, now that it is about to charge its highest ever annual assessment. All drivers deserve to know where their hard-earned money is going.

A few days ago, on May 19th, Kurt D. Gallinger, Chairman of the Michigan Insurance Coalition, rushed to the defense of the MCCA:

The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association is not operated secretively. The state’s commissioner of the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation serves as a nonvoting board member to the MCCA and requires filings and audits from the MCCA concerning its finances and operations, which are available to the general public.
Since the MCCA is not a government entity, why should it be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, the Open Meetings Act or the Emergency Manager Law — laws designed to keep government out of trouble? The MCCA could hold its meetings on the front lawn of the state Capitol and it would still not result in lower costs.

So, the MCCA is funded by the public’s money, but the public shouldn’t have the right to see how rates are set? Which should make you wonder about who/what the Michigan Insurance Coalition is all about:

The Michigan Insurance Coalition is a Lansing-based, state property-casualty trade association. MIC’s members are insurers who annually underwrite more than $3 billion in insurance premiums in Michigan.

And there’s our answer. Michigan drivers deserve the real story about the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association.

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