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Forbes magazine says keep No-Fault insurance in MI

August 1, 2017 by Steven M. Gursten

Michigan No-Fault insurance beats out all the alternatives, including paying for all car crash medical expenses and lost wages due to injury or disability

No-Fault insurance in Michigan

In its recent article, “Is It Time To Do Away With No-Fault Laws?,” Forbes offered the following answer to its own question:

“[D]oing away completely with the law is not the best solution, but there needs to be something done to make it more affordable. In Michigan, drivers can end up dedicating 30% to 40% of their premium just to their PIP [No-Fault personal injury protection insurance] costs.”

I agree 100%.

As I’ll discuss in my blog post tomorrow, Michigan’s No-Fault insurance provides life-saving benefits and protections to injured car accident victims, especially for those who have been catastrophically injured.

A balanced view of No-Fault insurance systems

We can make Michigan No-Fault insurance more affordable for auto insurance consumers. I’ve made many suggestions on the pages of this auto lawyer’s blog about how we can simultaneously lower the price of auto insurance AND still preserve Michigan No-Fault benefits and protections.

As a car accident attorney in Michigan, I see first-hand the incredible benefits and protections that No-Fault insurance provides to my own clients. Michigan is one of the United States’ 12 No-Fault states, and the protections that people receive under Michigan PIP (personal injury protection insurance) far exceeds those in pure tort states and modified No-Fault states.

That doesn’t mean we can’t do better, however. The price that people pay for No-Fault insurance is way too high; a new Forbes article explains how Insure.com recently ranked Michigan as the most expensive state for car insurance, with the average premium $1,076 higher than the national average annual premium. And in many cities, such as Detroit, it has become unaffordable.

But there are better ways to deal with it — even if politicians have thus far lacked the political courage to do so.

And, as Forbes notes:

“The issue with keeping or repealing no-fault laws is that most drivers enjoy the product …” and “many also still rely on it” for its provision of “easy access to health insurance if they are injured in an [auto] accident” and “lost wages” benefits if car crash-related injuries disable them working.

What does Forbes say should be done to make No-Fault insurance more affordable?

Forbes pointed out two actions that states could take to “rein in costs” for car insurance in No-Fault states:

  • Implementing reforms that would “keep hospitals from charging auto accident patients more than they do other patients”; and,
  • “Setting up an insurance fraud commission.”

I agree. I’ve been a vocal supporter of both for many years on the pages of this blog.

As I explained in my blog post, “No Fault fee schedule is the car insurance fix Detroit drivers need — not flawed D-Insurance,” a No-Fault medical provider fee schedule modeled on Michigan’s Workers’ Compensation fee schedule (but with more generous reimbursement for medical providers) would preserve vital No-Fault benefits and protections, reduce car insurance prices for consumers, and remove a lot of the ugliness and PIP fraud that we all see from a small, but growing, number of lawyers and law firms.

Similarly, I’ve supported House Bill 4672, which proposes to create a “Michigan Automobile Insurance Fraud Authority” that would simultaneously investigate and root out No-Fault car insurance fraud (by insurers and individuals) and unfair claims and settlement practices of Michigan No-Fault auto insurance companies.

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