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Michigan No Fault “Reform” update: Stalled for now

August 28, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Michigan Auto Law attorney quoted in  Michigan Lawyers Weekly story updating HB 4612 No Fault legislation

As regular readers of my law blog know, I’ve been writing extensively about the push by the insurance industry and many state Republicans to change Michigan’s No Fault insurance laws.  I’ve written about how one-sided the insurance industry’s “wish-list” is, through bills like HB 4612, which would drastically alter Michigan’s No Fault insurance laws at the expense of auto accident  victims and drivers.

For now, it appears that HB 4612 is on hold and, at least in its current version,  likely to die. Michigan Lawyers Weekly interviewed Michigan Auto Law on the latest on the No Fault Reform efforts.

According to the Michigan Lawyers Weekly story, Republicans pushing the insurance industry agenda are far short of the votes they need to pass the bill before recess, so HB 4612 hasn’t come to a full vote.

Said Michigan Auto Law:

“The insurance industry is continuing to press for the votes, but Michigan Association for Justice and CPAN [Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault] have not seen any erosion in the bipartisan opposition to 4612.”

Here’s the full Michigan Lawyers Weekly story: No movement on no-fault bill, to be taken up after recess.

Many people are unfamiliar with the Michigan No Fault insurance system until they need it.  But Michigan’s No Fault law provides truly life-saving protections for people who suffer serious injuries  after a car accident.  Currently, if Michigan drivers are seriously injured in a crash, Michigan No Fault covers:

  • Medical benefits: Unlimited necessary medical care for medical help and treatment for auto accident-related injuries.
  • Lost wages: 85% of lost wages while you’re injured and unable to work, for up to  three years.
  • Replacement services: Help with  care and other services a person can no longer perform around the house because of his or her injuries.
  • Attendant care: In-home nursing services for catastrophic injuries.

But HB 4612 would ravage the No Fault rights we have now. It would replace No Fault’s current guarantee of all necessary medical care with a $1 million cap on medical claims. In turn, HB 4612 would leave car crash victims lacking vital medical care, and shift the costs to Michigan taxpayers  once the cap is reached.

HB 4612 would also eliminate the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association. And the only winners of this so-called insurance “reform” would be the auto insurance industry.  Consumers would likely end up paying more, even as vital protections are taken away or reduced.

The insurance industry’s spin machine and lobbyists are pushing No Fault reform under the guise that it will save drivers money on their auto insurance. But a mere $125 savings in the first year is all that’s guaranteed. And in reality, due to new assessments  HB 4612 will likely cost drivers even more money.

Let’s hope HB 4612 is gone for good.

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