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HOT OFF THE PRESS: The latest edition of the Michigan Auto Law No Fault ‘Reform’ update with attorney commentary on new developments

November 14, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

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Our latest edition of the Michigan Auto Law No Fault ‘Reform’ Newsletter is out. If you would like to sign up and subscribe to our newsletter, visit Michigan Auto Law’s No Fault Reform page.

The newsletter is a concise and helpful free resource for up-to-date and breaking news about No Fault Reform efforts in Michigan and legislation such as House Bill 4612.

In Michigan Auto Law’s latest version of the newsletter, we discuss the recent report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, and other recent developments over the past several weeks:

  • More talk about capping and cutting Michigan No Fault insurance medical benefits, but not a word about how so-called No Fault “reform” can guarantee lower auto insurance prices for consumers past the first year of promised savings in the bill. On October 23, 2013, a joint meeting of the Insurance Committees from the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate was held to hear testimony from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan about its recently released report, “Medical Costs of No-Fault Automobile Insurance.” Yet, despite claims from politicians like Gov. Rick Snyder and Rep. Pete Lund (R-36th District) that the purpose behind so-called No Fault “reform” is lower auto insurance premium rates, neither the CRC’s report nor the joint meeting addressed the point. Indeed, the report concedes that it “did not focus on insurance premium costs” for consumers.
  • In a Halloween-themed blog post, “Boo! The No Fault boogeyman is right behind you,” we  took issue with the way politicians are “tricking” people with one-sided, pro-insurance propaganda like the CRC report and refusing to “treat” the public to the real facts about so-called No Fault “reform.” To the politicians scare tactic of claiming that Michigan auto insurance prices out-of-control and “exorbitant” and that the only way to bring premium rates down is to cap and cut No Fault medical benefits, Michigan Auto Law presented the following “frightening” No Fault facts:
    Fact #1: Michigan auto insurance prices are LOWER than they were in 2003-2005;
    Fact #2: Capping No Fault medical benefits will not lower auto insurance prices; and,
    Fact #3: No Fault medical benefit costs are not driving auto insurance prices.
  • For excellent coverage of the Insurance Committees’ joint meeting, please check out Gary Gosselin’s article, “Report: no-fault raising medical costs, not likely to move reform legislation,” in the October 28, 2013, edition of Michigan Lawyers Weekly. In the article, Michigan Auto Law attorney  Todd Berg said:  “The debate over so-called no fault ‘reform’ needs to shift focus from the myriad different ways that no-fault medical benefits can be capped or cut in order to save auto insurance companies money, to the real dollars-and-cents issues of: Are auto insurance prices truly so out-of-control and exorbitant that No Fault should be dismantled; and [h]ow exactly will the so-called ‘reform’ proposals under consideration (both now and in the future) actually be guaranteed to yield lower insurance premium prices for consumers?”

Admire v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company

In the latest No Fault Law Newsletter, Michigan Auto Law has included a “HOT TOPIC” section, where we talk about the much-criticized Admire case, an absurd legal decision from the Michigan Supreme Court.

  • HOT TOPIC: Admire: Michigan Auto Law continues to receive questions and comments about our blog post discussing what we feel was the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling in Admire v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company, where the Court’s (activist) Republican majority misapplied its own prior rule to deny a wheelchair-accessible victim to a motorcyclist who was catastrophically injured in a Michigan auto accident. Even though Mr. Admire could walk and ride a motorcycle before his motorcycle accident, and after the crash he was only able to get around with the use a van big enough to accommodate his wheelchair, Court said he wasn’t entitled to have No Fault cover the cost of a new van.  In the Court’s estimation, Mr. Admire’s transportation needs had not changed. To find out more, here’s a link to the blog post, “Michigan Supreme Court’s No Fault ruling denies wheelchair van for motorcycle accident victim.”

In case you missed it

In the Newsletter, Michigan Auto Law included links to the following blog posts that are directly relevant to the battle over whether to preserve or dismantle Michigan’s Catastrophic Claims Association:

For more facts, statistics and a thorough analysis of House Bill 4612, please check out Michigan Auto Law’s “The Auto Insurance Consumers’ Guide to No Fault Reform and House Bill 4612.”

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