auto insurance http://michiganradio.org en Court: Records of car insurance fund not public http://michiganradio.org/post/court-records-car-insurance-fund-not-public <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">LANSING – The public has no right to see the records of an insurance fund that puts a fee on cars to pay for catastrophic injuries. That’s the opinion of the Michigan appeals court.</span></p><p>The Appeals Court said today that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association is not covered by a public records law.</p><p>It overturned a 2012 decision by an Ingham County judge.</p><p>The insurance fund was created by the Legislature to reimburse insurance companies for claims that exceed $500,000.</p> Wed, 21 May 2014 16:15:38 +0000 The Associated Press 17690 at http://michiganradio.org Court: Records of car insurance fund not public Auto no-fault overhaul is GOP’s ‘Holy Grail’ http://michiganradio.org/post/auto-no-fault-overhaul-gop-s-holy-grail <p>A political controversy in Lansing that just won’t die is back: <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/few-issues-reveal-political-divide-auto-insurance">auto no-fault insurance</a>. There is yet <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/gop-lawmakers-try-revive-no-fault-overhaul">another Republican effort</a> to muscle through an auto no-fault overhaul, this time being led by state House Speaker Jase Bolger.</p><p>There’s a lot in this proposal, released just yesterday, but one of the main things is a cap on the state’s currently unlimited medical benefits if you are injured in a crash. Under the Bolger plan, these benefits would top out at $10 million. Other parts of the proposal include limits on hospital fees and payments for in-home care, incentives to avoid litigation, and a guaranteed rate rollback in the first two years of coverage.</p><p>Essentially, there is something in this plan for all of the special interests that have a stake in the auto no-fault system – hospitals, insurance companies, trial lawyers – to dislike. But, Bolger says, bring it on. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 20:44:01 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 16550 at http://michiganradio.org Auto no-fault overhaul is GOP’s ‘Holy Grail’ Michigan auto insurance might get an overhaul http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-auto-insurance-might-get-overhaul <p>The Michigan Legislature is considering bills that would overhaul auto insurance in the state.</p><p>There are several aspects to this. Jake Neher with the Michigan Public Radio Network joined us today to help us wade through what has been proposed.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 21:16:41 +0000 Stateside Staff 14588 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan auto insurance might get an overhaul Stateside for Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-wednesday-september-25th-2013 <p>So, whatever happened to moderates in politics? It seems everyone is an ideologue and "compromise" is a dirty word. On today's show, we talked to a former Republican leader who says the disappearance of the moderate is becoming a real problem in his party.</p><p>And, we talked with a "genius."</p><p>The MacArther Foundation has announced this year's "genius grants," and one of the 24 who has been recognized as an exceptionally creative individual is from the University of Michigan.</p><p style="padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 22px; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; vertical-align: baseline;">And, the new Common Core Curriculum does not require that kids learn cursive, but is that really what is best?</p><p style="padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 22px; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; vertical-align: baseline;">Also, shoplifting is now a felony in Michigan. What does this mean for consumers and shop owners?</p><p style="padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 22px; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; vertical-align: baseline;">And, a music student at the University of Michigan will have his work performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. We talked to him about his piece.</p><p>First on the show, t<span style="line-height: 1.5;">he Michigan Legislature is considering bills that would overhaul auto insurance in the state.</span></p><p>There are several aspects to this. Jake Neher&nbsp;with Michigan Public Radio Network joined us today to help us wade through what has been proposed.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 20:29:27 +0000 Stateside Staff 14589 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 Michigan Secretary of State speaks out against insurance fraud http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-secretary-state-speaks-out-against-insurance-fraud <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When it comes to trying to wiggle out of paying for auto insurance, the creativity of some Michigan drivers seems to know no bounds.</span></p><p>But to all of those drivers who think they&#39;re getting away with auto insurance fraud, the Michigan Secretary of State has a warning: &quot;We&#39;re on to you.&quot;</p><p>Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is announcing the creation of a task force to fight fraud in auto insurance all across Michigan.</p><p>Secretary of State Johnson joined us today from Lansing.</p><p><em>Listen to the interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 17 Sep 2013 20:28:27 +0000 Stateside Staff 14459 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Secretary of State speaks out against insurance fraud Michigan is launching a crackdown on auto insurance fraud http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-launching-crackdown-auto-insurance-fraud <p>The state of Michigan is launching a campaign to crackdown on auto insurance fraud.</p><p></p><p>Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says her office will be working with the Michigan State Police, local prosecutors and the insurance industry to catch people selling and using phony auto insurance policies.</p><p></p><p>She says a one day snap shot of more than 3 thousand auto registration renewals using paper insurance certificates found 16% were using phony auto insurance.</p><p></p><p>Johnson says many of the scams are quite sophisticated.</p><p></p> Mon, 16 Sep 2013 19:32:38 +0000 Steve Carmody 14445 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan is launching a crackdown on auto insurance fraud Detroit state lawmakers suggest alternative auto insurance changes http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-state-lawmakers-suggest-alternative-auto-insurance-changes <p>State lawmakers from Detroit say they will put forth their own package of bills to overhaul m auto insurance in Michigan.</p><p>The Democrats oppose Governor Snyder’s plan to cap insurance payouts for catastrophic car accident injuries at $1 million.</p><p>Snyder and some Republicans say Michigan’s unique “no-fault insurance” policy bumps up Michiganders’ auto insurance premiums. They say their proposal will bring those rates down by $125 per vehicle for at least one year, with possible future savings.</p> Mon, 20 May 2013 22:34:10 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 12652 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit state lawmakers suggest alternative auto insurance changes Could changes to auto Personal Injury Protection cost more than they save? http://michiganradio.org/post/could-changes-auto-personal-injury-protection-cost-more-they-save <p></p><p>Some members of the legislature are once again proposing changes to no-fault auto insurance in Michigan. They say it will save auto owners money. Opponents say the plan is good for insurance companies, but not for accident victims.</p><p>Everybody seems to agree auto insurance in Michigan costs too much.</p><p>Governor Rick Snyder and the chairs of the <a href="http://www.misenategop.com/senators/Hune.asp?District=22">Senate</a> and <a href="http://gophouse.org/representatives/southeast/lund/">House</a> insurance committees explained the<a href="http://www.michigan.gov/snyder/0,4668,7-277-57577_57657-300452--,00.html"> latest plan</a> to reduce the cost.</p><p>“In this legislation it would specify that premium costs would come down by $125 per vehicle in the first year and then hopefully because of competition and other things could even see that increase in later years,” Governor Snyder said.</p><p>That one-year guarantee of savings would come because of a reduction in the Personal Injury Protection part of auto insurance. Mon, 13 May 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 12532 at http://michiganradio.org Could changes to auto Personal Injury Protection cost more than they save? L. Brooks Patterson speaks out against changing Michigan's no-fault auto insurance http://michiganradio.org/post/l-brooks-patterson-speaks-out-against-changing-michigans-no-fault-auto-insurance <p>A proposed reform to Michigan’s <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/lawmakers-introduce-controversial-no-fault-changes">no-fault auto insurance</a> is circulating in the Legislature.</p><p>Among other things, it would cap benefits for people who suffer severe injuries in auto accidents at $1 million.</p><p>Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has come out as a strong opponent to this legislation.</p><p>Patterson is still recovering from a serious auto accident he had last summer, and his driver, James Cram of Owosso, was paralyzed from the neck down.</p><p>In this interview with Jennifer White, Patterson talks about his opposition to the proposed legislation and his recovery.</p><p><em>You can listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p>Patterson wanted to be clear that he and his driver were working at the time of their accident.</p><p>Their medical bills are covered by worker's compensation, so Patterson says his opposition to changes to Michigan's no-fault insurance laws are not for his own benefit.</p><p>"Did the accident make me more aware and more sensitized to the plight of people who suffer from catastrophic injuries? Absolutely," he said.</p><p></p><p> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 21:39:20 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 12356 at http://michiganradio.org L. Brooks Patterson speaks out against changing Michigan's no-fault auto insurance Commentary: Catastrophic health care http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-catastrophic-health-care <p>Last week, Governor Snyder announced plans to introduce legislation that, if passed, would essentially mean that insurance companies and the state would no longer provide virtually unlimited benefits to those injured in catastrophic car accidents.</p><p>Currently, victims whose health care costs exceed half a million dollars have their care covered by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association. The governor would cap those benefits at a million dollars. The next day, his proposal was attacked by an opponent who called it, “an embarrassment to the Republican party.”</p><p>“The governor misses the big picture,” he added. What is most interesting about this is that the man attacking the governor‘s idea is not a liberal Democrat or a leader of a victim‘s rights group, but one of the state‘s most prominent conservative Republicans, L. Brooks Patterson, the longtime czar of Oakland County.</p><p>Brooks knows what he is talking about. Last August, he and his driver were T-boned in a car accident that very nearly took their lives. Patterson was in a coma for days, suffered multiple broken bones and was in the hospital for nearly two months.</p><p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 12:35:55 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 12228 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Catastrophic health care The week in review: lowering auto insurance, drug testing the poor, immigration protests http://michiganradio.org/post/week-review-lowering-auto-insurance-drug-testing-poor-immigration-protests <p></p><p>This week in review, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss the possible plan to lower auto insurance rates in the state, a <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/welfare-drug-testing-bill-moves-forward-state-house">bill</a> to require drug tests for welfare recipients, and the arrests made at the University of Michigan over<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/u-m-students-arrested-protest-undocumented-students"> immigration protests</a>.</p><p> Sat, 20 Apr 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Jack Lessenberry & Rina Miller 12216 at http://michiganradio.org The week in review: lowering auto insurance, drug testing the poor, immigration protests Commentary: Snyder spread too thin? http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-snyder-spread-too-thin <p>There was a lot of criticism of President Obama for devoting so much time to his health care plan during his first year and a half in office. Some felt he should have also tried to get through a massive job creation plan, or a program to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. However, he did succeed at getting what we now call “Obamacare” passed, and it is now transforming medical coverage.</p> Fri, 19 Apr 2013 12:51:08 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 12214 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Snyder spread too thin? In this morning's news: auto insurance, detention, weather http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-auto-insurance-detention-weather <p><strong>Snyder wants to lower auto insurance rates</strong></p><p>Governor Rick Snyder is asking lawmakers to make changes to Michigan's no-fault auto insurance system. The Governor says Michigan has the highest insurance rates in the Midwest and have the eighth highest rate in the county.</p><p>"Right now, people critically injured in an auto accident can receive unlimited lifetime medical benefits. Under a plan announced yesterday, that amount would be capped at $1 million dollars," Jake Neher reports.</p><p><strong>Michigan House approves bill against indefinite detention </strong></p><p>"The Michigan House has approved legislation that would prohibit state and local law enforcement officials from helping the federal government indefinitely detain American citizens without charges," the Associated Press reports.</p><p><strong>Weather update</strong></p><p>More flooding and a return to wintry weather in places are being seen as spring storms prompt evacuations in parts of Michigan. More rain is expected today. We might even get some snow this afternoon in West, Mid Michigan and Flint. The Grand River in Grand Rapids is expected to crest on Sunday, just inches below the 100-year flood level.</p><p> Fri, 19 Apr 2013 12:14:12 +0000 Emily Fox 12213 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: auto insurance, detention, weather What's behind the high costs of Michigan auto insurance rates? http://michiganradio.org/post/whats-behind-high-costs-michigan-auto-insurance-rates <p>Depending on where you live in the state, your auto insurance rates could be outrageously high.</p><p>During the last session of the Michigan Legislature, there was an attempt to change the state’s auto no-fault insurance with claims that it would lower rates.</p><p>This is something the auto insurance agencies keep lobbying for, and Governor Rick Snyder said in his State of the State address we need to keep costs down.<br><br>But there’s little evidence that your insurance rates would go down that much, or at all, by these limits.</p><p>That’s because the real reason auto insurance is so high in some areas is theft, fraud, and uninsured motorists.</p><p>The part of no-fault that guarantees someone severely hurt will get the reasonable care they need is just a fraction of the cost, and some would argue the best bargain in the nation.</p><p>Joining me now is a lawyer who, we should point out, fights the insurance companies over claims on a regular basis.</p><p>Steven Gursten is with the law firm <a href="http://www.michiganautolaw.com/">Michigan Auto Law</a>.</p><p>Most of us find auto insurance coverage a little confusing at best, so we started off by explaining what catastrophic coverage is, and what the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association is.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 12 Mar 2013 20:44:07 +0000 Stateside Staff 11627 at http://michiganradio.org What's behind the high costs of Michigan auto insurance rates? Body that manages state’s catastrophic claims fund fighting against court ruling http://michiganradio.org/post/body-manages-state-s-catastrophic-claims-fund-fighting-against-court-ruling <p>Lawmakers are getting ready to consider changes to the state’s no-fault auto insurance law.</p><p>At the same time a court battle over a fund that reimburses auto insurance companies for large claims continues.</p><p>When you file a personal injury claim in Michigan of more than a half-million dollars, your auto insurance company gets reimbursed by a state-created fund. It’s basically an insurance policy for insurers.</p><p>The fund that pays those reimbursements is facing a lawsuit that says it should provide more information about how it comes up with an annual fee that ultimately gets passed on to drivers. It’s appealing a circuit court decision saying that information is subject to public information requests.</p><p>Pete Kuhnmuench is with the Insurance Institute of Michigan, which supports the appeal.</p><p>“Literally 90 percent of what was required to be disclosed under the judge’s recent ruling is already out there for public consumption,” Kuhnmuench said.</p><p>Plaintiffs in the case say lawmakers need a complete picture as they weigh proposals to change the state’s no-fault law. Wed, 23 Jan 2013 17:26:25 +0000 Jake Neher 10900 at http://michiganradio.org Body that manages state’s catastrophic claims fund fighting against court ruling Judge rules mandatory insurance calculations to be public http://michiganradio.org/post/judge-rules-mandatory-insurance-calculations-be-public <p>A judge has ruled the organization which sets the mandatory fee for no-fault auto insurance must disclose how it calculates the fee.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 02 Jan 2013 21:02:09 +0000 Lester Graham 10590 at http://michiganradio.org Lawsuit seeks Michigan auto injury claims data http://michiganradio.org/post/lawsuit-seeks-michigan-auto-injury-claims-data <p>CORRECTION: An earlier version of&nbsp;this story reported that the MCCA fee is&nbsp;$145 per&nbsp;driver.&nbsp;It is, in fact,&nbsp;$145 per insured vehicle. If you own, and insure, two cars, the fee would be&nbsp;$290.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>A coalition of trial lawyers, unions and victim advocates is going to court seeking data on accidents and insurance payments.</p><p>Lawmakers who want to change Michigan&rsquo;s no-fault insurance system say the current system is unsustainable. But fans of no-fault say the data will show the system is financially sound.</p><p>The problem is the information is held by an industry group that does not want to release the information. The group sets an annual assessment on drivers to pay the health care bills of the most-critically injured people.</p><p>&ldquo;This knowledge is being hidden from us, from the Legislature, from the public,&quot; said&nbsp;George Sinas, a personal injury attorney who opposes plans to change no-fault. &quot;We are deeply committed in this lawsuit in seeking an end, in seeking a lifting if you will of this shroud of secrecy.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Sinas says the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association should be forced to release the information because it was created by the Legislature, and because every driver has to pay the fee.</p><p>But&nbsp;the insurance industry disagrees.</p><p>&quot;The MCCA is not a public body,&quot; said&nbsp;Pete Kuhnmuench, president if the Insurance Institute of Michigan, an industry association. &quot;It&rsquo;s not even a policymaking body. It&rsquo;s a payment mechanism. It collects assessments from insurance companies and then it reimburses insurance companies for expenses they have relative to a private contract.&rdquo;</p><p>Kuhnmuench says state insurance regulators make sure the MCCA assessment is fair and that consumers are protected. The MCCA assessment on every insured&nbsp;vehicle in Michigan is $145&nbsp;this year.</p><p> Mon, 23 Jan 2012 21:58:26 +0000 Rick Pluta 5905 at http://michiganradio.org Lawsuit seeks Michigan auto injury claims data Seven things to know about changes to Michigan's mandatory auto insurance http://michiganradio.org/post/seven-things-know-about-changes-michigans-mandatory-auto-insurance <p>The Michigan House of Representatives is expected to bring HB 4936 to the floor for a vote soon.</p><p>That legislation would significantly change Michigan&rsquo;s auto no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.</p><p>Here is a quick overview of what we have now, the proposed changes, and the potential consequences of those changes.</p><p><strong>1. What we have now</strong></p> Mon, 16 Jan 2012 18:05:18 +0000 Lester Graham 5798 at http://michiganradio.org Seven things to know about changes to Michigan's mandatory auto insurance “Without no-fault insurance…I’d lose everything I own” http://michiganradio.org/post/%E2%80%9Cwithout-no-fault-insurance%E2%80%A6i%E2%80%99d-lose-everything-i-own%E2%80%9D <p>A coalition of rehabilitation centers and people injured in car accidents is trying to stop proposed changes to <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/no-fault">Michigan&rsquo;s no-fault auto insurance</a> benefits.</p><p><a href="http://www.cpan.us/index.html">The Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault</a> is hosting town hall meetings across the state to educate people about the proposed changes. They&rsquo;re also inviting people impacted by a major car accident to share their stories.</p> Fri, 02 Dec 2011 03:14:32 +0000 Lindsey Smith 5221 at http://michiganradio.org Protecting yourself after changes to no-fault insurance http://michiganradio.org/post/protecting-yourself-after-changes-no-fault-insurance <p>Michigan legislators are considering changing insurance benefits for people badly injured in auto accidents.&nbsp; The sponsors of the legislation say it will lower the price of auto insurance.&nbsp; Some analysts say it will mean people who are severely hurt won&rsquo;t get the care they need and argue in the end won&rsquo;t save much money at all.</p> Tue, 29 Nov 2011 12:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 5143 at http://michiganradio.org