Mich. House Bills Open Door to Scrutiny of Auto Insurance Fee

February 25, 2008

An insurance panel that sets rates for coverage of severely injured motorists would be subject to more public scrutiny under terms of legislation that passed the state House on Thursday.

Some deliberations by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association would be subject to the state’s open meetings laws. The size of the MCCA board also would be expanded to add some members from the general public.

Two bills in the package are now headed to the Senate. Two related bills still await votes in the House.

A key bill in the package passed the Democratic-led House by a 66-38 vote.

Insurance companies connected with the MCCA oppose the bills. They have said it could lead to politics entering the setting of the rate.

The MCCA collects an annual fee placed on each insured vehicle in Michigan. This year’s assessment, which is passed on to motorists through insurance companies, is about $123 per vehicle.

The money goes into a fund to help cover people who are seriously injured in auto wrecks. The MCCA fund picks up claims if they reach $420,000.

Michigan is a no-fault insurance state. Michigan is the only state that requires the offering of unlimited lifetime medical benefits for people seriously injured in auto accidents.

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