August 30, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 204

No-fault insurance works 'just fine'

To the Editor:

Last week, I had the privilege of traveling around the seven counties in my district to discuss something very important to us in the U.P.: auto no-fault insurance. Since the so-called insurance reforms were introduced into the Michigan legislature, I’ve heard from many of you about this issue. Some called and wrote to say that it was time to get rid of the system. Others urged me to support no-fault, as it had personally impacted the well-being of their families.

There’s no getting around the fact that we all see the fee for auto no-fault on our insurance bill: Michiganders pay a total of $186 a year for coverage that protects us and our families for life if we experience a catastrophic injury due to horrible car accident. Your cellphone costs more than that, but your family isn’t going to go bankrupt if you turn your service off.

Even if we were going to eliminate auto no-fault, we’d still have a duty to take care of the folks who are currently benefitting from it. That could mean that we’d end up paying $35 a year anyway into the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Fund for those who were injured before the overhaul. And, the money currently in the fund, billions of dollars, could go back to the insurance companies because the rules would cut so many injured people out of the picture.

Speaking of the Catastrophic Claims Fund, I’m not convinced the insurance companies have been up front with Michiganders about how it’s operating. They say the fund is going to run out of money, but there’s a lot they won’t disclose. The insurance companies won’t tell us when this is going to happen. They won’t even show us the books to prove their case. They’re just asking us to take it at face value, and that stinks.

Meanwhile, as they try to pass the buck on giving us live-saving benefits and care, the insurance companies are doing OK. Look up the list of Fortune 500 companies. I bet your insurance company is on it. After lots of research, I can tell you the auto no-fault system is working just fine, despite what your insurance company is saying. The care we give our people when they need it most is a model for the country.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 888-663-4031.

State Rep. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet