Wednesday, 29 May 2019 14:12

Car Insurance Laws Are Changing in Michigan

Written by Steven Gursten, JD Supra


Attendant care: Auto insurers are not required to pay for more than 56 hours per week of No-Fault in-home, family-provided attendant care.


Anti-fraud unit: The new Michigan No-Fault law will create an Anti-Fraud Unit to investigate all “criminal and fraudulent activities in the insurance market.”


Insurance Commissioner involvement when insurers refuse to pay No-Fault benefits: The new Michigan No-Fault law requires the Insurance Commissioner to create a page on the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) website describing how the Insurance Commissioner “may be able to assist a person who believes that an automobile insurer is not paying benefits, not making timely payments, or otherwise not performing as it is obligated to do under an insurance policy.” Additionally, the Insurance Commissioner would be required to create a website page that “allows a person to report insurance fraud and unfair settlement and claims practices.”


Higher liability limits: Liability limits refer to the insurance you take out to protect yourself if you cause a car accident and injure another driver. Before today, drivers were required to carry liability bodily injury insurance with mandatory minimum limits of $20,000 for bodily injury or death to one person in one car crash or $40,000 for two or more persons in one car crash. The new Michigan No-Fault law would increase those minimum limits to $50,000 and $100,000 respectively. A new “default” residual bodily injury limit of $250,000 and $500,000 will be offered to drivers, with drivers able to elect more or less liability coverage should they so choose, but not less than the new mandatory minimums of $50,000/$100,000.


Suing for excess medical benefits: Under the new Michigan No-Fault law, a person injured in a car accident can sue for excess medical costs and economic expenses, i.e., those medical costs and expenses that will exceed the dollar amount of the No-Fault PIP cap amount they have selected. Michigan now becomes like most other states in this regard, and the amount of coverage available in the insurance policy liability limits of the wrongdoer negligent driver becomes much more important.