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Michigan proposes changes to personal injury protection law

As a no-fault state, Michigan implements personal injury protection policies that pay for your medical bills if you are injured in a traffic accident. The PIP also pays as much as 85 percent of your lost income up to three years and even throws in a little extra per diem for things like household chores.

Lawmakers are always looking for ways to reform our no-fault system and the latest attempt includes excepting certain people from receiving the PIP benefits if they get injured in an accident, even if they have their PIP coverage paid in full on their auto insurance. Those audiences include:

  • Illegal immigrants
  • Drivers committing or fleeing from a crime
  • Drivers operating a vehicle while intoxicated
  • Passengers knowingly in cars that were taken unlawfully

Opponents of the legislation say the passage of the proposed bills would just shift the costs to the health insurance and health care providers and Medicaid. In addition, they are questioning why one's immigration status has anything to do with their driving?

However, most can agree that felons should not be eligible for coverage.

According the state's Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation, Michigan auto insurance companies paid out more than $2 billion in PIP claims in 2011 and about 41 percent of your premiums went to pay for PIP coverage in 2010.

Lawmakers are also trying to rein in the rising costs of PIP by allowing drivers to select different levels and payments of the coverage.

The legislature will likely continue hearing testimony and fine-tuning the language of these bills.

Source: mlive.com, "Illegal immigrants, drunk drivers and felons wouldn't get injury coverage under proposed auto insurance reform," Melissa Anders, May 25, 2012

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