A group of Michigan House Republicans launched a last-ditch effort this week to try to reform the state's no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance program. Their aim is to get a bill similar to the one endorsed by Detroit's mayor last year passed statewide.
Legislators across both parties have previously expressed support for the bill, which was first introduced in 2017. They've mentioned liking how it allows Michigan motorists to select between three different types of PIP coverage. This would change the approach that's been in place for years. Currently, individuals with catastrophic injuries are able to receive unlimited lifetime medical benefits. The proposed system would require motorists to choose an insurance plan with that kind of coverage if they want it.
Under the proposed amended law, attendant care provided by family members would be capped at 84 weekly hours. Seniors would be eligible to decline personal injury protection altogether. Some drivers would also qualify for rebates. Lawmakers also want the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to undergo an audit.
As for drivers, they'd see the medical benefits that they're eligible to receive in catastrophic injury cases capped depending on what tier of PIP coverage that they purchased. Essentially, the new proposal would allow people to choose lesser coverage at a lower rate by gambling that they won't be in a catastrophic accident.
The first tier would cover an injured motorist's hospital bills up to $225,000 and care expenses up to $25,000 thereafter. The second tier would cover up to $500,000 in medical costs. The third tier would remain unlimited.
While many of the bill's proponents are pushing for a vote during the final week of the lame-duck session, it's uncertain if a majority of Michigan lawmakers are ready to support it. Previously, the bill was defeated by 18 votes.
A Coalition Protecting No Fault spokesperson claims that the bill offers no real rate reform and will gut consumer protections that drivers need.
When an individual gets seriously hurt in a crash in a no-fault state, they generally don't have to worry about receiving inferior care or cutting their treatment short precisely because of how existing state laws are written.
If you're injured in a car accident in Michigan, you have certain rights that should be protected. If you're having difficulty obtaining the no-fault insurance benefits you are due, an attorney may be able to help.