Viable “Fair and Affordable Reform Package” still awaiting a committee hearing
LANSING – A select group of Republican state lawmakers introduced legislation today that would completely dismantle Michigan no-fault auto insurance system. House Bills 5517 – 5523, co-sponsored and led by Rep. Lana Theis (R-Brighton), would take away the lifetime auto injury coverage guaranteed under Michigan’s current auto insurance system and replace it with a tort system where injured drivers would sue at-fault drivers to recover costs for their injuries.
“Tort auto insurance systems force both at-fault and innocent accident survivors into lengthy lawsuits that unnecessarily delay care that is so critically important to their recovery,” said Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault President John Cornack. “The result will be more lawsuits, a clogged court system and worse coverage for every single driver in this state.”
Cornack notes that with tort system like in Ohio and Indiana, families injured in an accident who are deemed to be at-fault will have nowhere to turn to for payment of their medical bills because they will not be able to sue anyone for their care. As a result, even more Michigan residents could be forced into medical bankruptcy and then on the state Medicaid System. When Colorado changed from a no-fault to a tort state, its Medicaid cost increased by 205 percent.
Recent legislation that would have capped auto injury coverage in Michigan was estimated to cost state taxpayers an estimated $80 million after 10 years. A complete switch to a tort system would likely cost Michigan taxpayers tens of millions of dollars more.
“It is extremely disappointing that lawmakers would even consider such fiscally irresponsible legislation when there are viable reforms sitting on the table,” said Cornack. “Rep. Theis has a bipartisan bill package sitting in her committee that would contain medical costs, stop fraud and put an end to unfair insurance company rating practices. These are real reforms that will make auto insurance in Michigan more fair and more affordable, so what are we waiting for?”
CPAN will continue to urge Michigan lawmakers to consider reforms that will improve Michigan’s no-fault system, such as the Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform package.