Inside and outside of Oakland

Michigan auto insurance: Whose fault is no-fault?

  Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder plans to make good on his State of the State pledge to reform Michigan's no-fault auto insurance system.
  With Republicans controlling the state legislature, he's likely to get most, if not all, of what he wants.
  In a livestreamed news conference Thursday, the governor said he wants to cap unlimited medical coverage for accident victims at $1 million, a move he estimates will lower insurance premiums by $250 for the average family.

  Legislation he supports would also end the practice of medical providers charging more for auto related injuries, which Snyder says leads to claims more than twice as high as the next no-fault state and which are passed on to the consumers in the form of higher premiums.
  Not surprisingly, opponents were quick to blister the proposed reforms as leaving "the public's best interest in the hands of greedy insurance industry."
  The Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault called the reforms reckless, ill-conceived and weighted heavily in favor insurance companies.
  CPAN has scheduled three town hall meetings to talk about the "unintended consequences" of the proposed reforms:
  • 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 22, at Dearborn Heights City Hall, 6045 Avenue in Dearborn Heights.
  • 9 a.m. Thursday, April 25, at the MPHI Interactive Learning Center, 2436 Woodlake Circle, Suite 380 in Okemos.
  • And 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 29, at the Traverse City Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue in Traverse City.
  Michigan says the state's no-fault system was adopted in 1978, when moderate Republican William G. Milliken was governor and Democrats controlled the state House and Senate.
  Michigan is one of a dozen states to offer some sort of no-fault auto insurance.
  At its core, no-fault insurance was actually supposed to keep premiums lower by avoiding the costs of litigation over the causes and blame for accidents.
  But after more than 35 years, rising premiums and Republicans at the helm of state government, the GOP says it's time for a change.
  They may be right.

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