No-Fault Auto Insurance Law May Change

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Oil changes, tire rotation: steps to keep your car running as long as possible, and some think it's time the no-fault policy went into the shop, too.

"We think we've got one of the best systems in the country, but it's in need of some repair to make sure it's viable for the next 38 years," Insurance Institute of Michigan Executive Director Peter Kuhnmuench said.

The Insurance Institute has proposed reforms to the no fault system, including medical fee schedules and caps on medical benefits that would allow people to choose the level of coverage they want.

"We think these reforms will benefit everyone across the board, particularly those that find it hard to pay for auto insurance today," Kuhnmuench said.

Those against the changes argue rather than reform, the state should focus on what's already in place.

"It's the law. You have to be insured, but a lot of people are breaking the law," Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault Spokesman John Truscott said. "One of the things we can do to help reduce costs is enforce the law that's on the books right now, and not allow the lawbreakers to go cause accidents. That drives up rates probably more than anything else."

Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault is open to changes, but concerned for those people who depend on the unlimited lifetime benefits.

"We're all about trying to reduce insurance rates for drivers in Michigan, what we don't want to do is destroy the safety net that's there for people who have severe, traumatic brain injuries," Truscott said.

Insurance Institute said Governor Snyder has shown support for the proposed reforms, and it might even be a topic at the State of the State address. Now they need to reach the lawmakers.

"Our challenge is to convince the legislature that this the right thing to do, and that this is the time to do it," Kuhnmuench said.

The governor's office couldn't be reached for comment.

Insurance Institute has been advocating for reform for almost a decade. They're also proposing a Michigan Auto Insurance Fraud Authority that would grant funds to law enforcement and prosecutors throughout the state to help pursue auto insurance fraud criminals.

Fraud brings up everyone's premiums, no matter who's committing it and where it's happening. Experts said crimes in Detroit can effect every Michigander's auto insurance.

The Fraud Authority is reform that both sides can largely agree on.


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