Back To The Future – Michigan No-Fault Law Under Attack Again
After failing to pass last fall, the Michigan legislature is once again going to introduce bills in Lansing seeking to radically alter the Michigan no-fault law and Michigan car accident law. The latest bills, which have not been introduced yet, are expected to outright ask for the elimination of the Michigan No-Fault Law all together.
On November 2, 2017, the Michigan legislature on a 63-45 bipartisan vote struck down a number of measures seeking to limit the benefits Michigan car accident victims can obtain following a car wreck. Currently, car insurance carriers must pay 85% of lost wages for up to 3 years following an accident (subject to a monthly maximum), all hospital and doctor bills related to the accident not covered by private health insurance, out-of-pockets expenses, family provided care and other benefits. There is no dollar limitation to these benefits and it is a lifetime benefit.
The bills sought to cap these benefits by offering an array of “choices” for policyholders to choose. It was sold on the promise that the lowest amount of PIP coverage that could be purchased is $250,000, with higher limits of coverage available. However, this lower amount was a false choice as the actual limit for PIP coverage once an individual left the emergency room was only $25,000 for ALL benefits, no matter the injuries. This false choice, along with the fact the insurance industry did not have a guarantee of a decrease in premiums after a short time frame created a host of other problems with legislators.
Now it appears the Michigan legislature is attempting to just kill the entire no-fault system. It is generally understood that this new bill package was written with the cooperation of the Insurance Institute of Michigan and is being promoted by the insurance industry.
Michigan car insurance is expensive. But as many have argued in the past, there are a number of measures and reforms that can be enacted to bring down the cost of car insurance without absolutely destroying all the benefits accident victims and their families are entitled to following a horrible car wreck.
Our office is monitoring the introduction of these bills and what our elected officials are doing in Lansing.