CPAN faced yet another monumentally challenging year in 2017. Together, our diverse coalition once again worked diligently to advocate in the halls of the state legislature and in the courts to preserve the life-saving benefits guaranteed to accident survivors under the Michigan No-Fault Insurance Act.
Auto insurance reform is always a perennial hot topic in the legislature, but the spotlight on the issue was even more intense as a result of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan brokering a deal with Speaker Tom Leonard on House Bill 5013. This bill would have significantly reduced injury coverage for a vast majority of Michigan drivers and severely threatened the viability of the state’s injury rehabilitation industry. CPAN was once again quick to band together and collectively fight back against a very bad piece of legislation, just like we have done countless times before.
This year was different, however, because we were also able to push for our own proactive reform legislation. Aided by the CPAN-commissioned research of auto insurance expert Douglas Heller, which highlighted the many unfair rating practices used by auto insurers, we worked together with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to promote the Fair and Affordable No-Fault Package.
Michigan’s court system also remained a highly active arena for CPAN members. Our longstanding lawsuit to bring transparency to the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association finally came to an end in 2017. Unfortunately, the Michigan Supreme Court sided with the insurance industry by refusing to make MCCA ratemaking data public. The court also sided with insurers in the case of Covenant Medical Center v. State Farm Insurance Company. Their decision overturned 20 years of case law by ruling that medical providers could no longer pursue debts owed by insurance companies on behalf of their patients.
While CPAN did not receive the outcome desired from these cases, it only will strengthen our resolve to pass positive legislative reforms in 2018. I am confident in our ability to achieve this goal thanks to the strength of our broad coalition. Our online advocacy activities expand each year, and CPAN’s fundraising events and strong membership base ensure we have the capacity to launch an aggressive advocacy campaign.
2017 was possibly one of the most important years in the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault’s 15-year history, but 2018 may very well be even bigger. I look forward to working with all of you to move our auto insurance system forward, so that it remains in place for the benefit and protection of accident survivors and drivers across the state. I encourage you to continue to support CPAN through your membership, support of our events and initiatives, and of course your continued advocacy.