Michigan is a no-fault car insurance state, which has advantages and disadvantages. Obtaining the full value of your claim can be challenging. Given the recent changes to Michigan’s no-fault insurance law, it is crucial for consumers to understand their rights by consulting an experienced no-fault car insurance attorney.
At Miller and Tischler, P.C., our legal practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of motor vehicle accident victims. Well-versed in the applicable state insurance laws and negligence laws, we have a proven history of helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve. Whether you are involved in a dispute with your insurance carrier regarding a no-fault claim or have sustained a catastrophic injury due to another driver’s negligence, we can help.
Our dedicated no-fault car insurance attorneys have successfully resolved claim disputes with all the major insurance companies. Although we prefer to reach negotiated settlements, we are fully prepared to litigate any no-fault claim dispute in a court of law. When you consult us, we will provide you with informed representation so that you can make the best decisions for your future. We offer free consultations 24/7 and you will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we recover for you.
A Primer on No-Fault Insurance in Michigan
The purpose of no-fault insurance is to provide assured, adequate and prompt payment for motor vehicle accidents. These PIP benefits are available for virtually everyone, including passengers and pedestrians, regardless of fault or negligence, with a few exceptions. The State of Michigan requires that all owners and registrants of motor vehicles have no-fault insurance.
The owner or registrant of a motor vehicle, required to be registered in Michigan, must maintain 3 kinds of motor vehicle insurance:
- PIP – insurance for your accidental bodily injuries that are motor vehicle accident-related. Before the law was recently changed, people only had one option – to purchase lifetime allowable expense benefits. One of the big changes in the new law is the ability to buy various levels of no-fault coverage. Effective July 1, 2020, people will still be able to buy life coverage. But they will also be able to buy coverages of $500,000, $250,000, and in some cases even less.
- Property Protection Insurance – insurance for damage you caused to another’s property, and
- $250,000 in residual liability insurance. This covers pain and suffering and economic losses in excess of that which is covered by no-fault insurance. Insurance customers are permitted to select a lower limit down to $50,000. These higher limits are provided under the changed no-fault law and will be available as of July 1, 2020.
All other insurance is optional.
A person who operates a motor vehicle without the proper no-fault insurance in full force and effect is subject to both a criminal penalty and is disqualified from receiving any no-fault benefits whatsoever.
After a car accident, your own car insurance personal injury protection (PIP) coverage pays for your medical expenses and other “allowable expenses” that are “reasonably necessary products, services, and accommodations” (e.g. lost wages, attendant care, household services, medical mileage, prescription costs, rehabilitation, medical equipment, barrier free home modifications, case management, etc.), regardless of who caused the accident. The cost limit involved under the new law, as of July 1, 2020, will largely depend on the benefit limit chosen by the injured insured.
When you secure no-fault insurance for yourself, the policy will sometimes cover more than just you. Generally, the policy will also cover your spouse, children, or any other resident relative. This means that if your spouse and resident relatives were ever injured as passengers in a motor vehicle accident, coverage would be available for them through your policy if they have no insurance of their own.
Important Changes to Michigan No-Fault Law
In 2019, sweeping changes to the state’s no-fault were enacted that will have an impact on policyholders and injury victims, including, but not limited to:
- Higher liability limits — Effective July 1, 2020 Michigan drivers will be required to purchase $250,000 in residual liability coverage (though one can opt to purchase down to $50,000). We strongly recommend that people purchase higher limits, as people injured may have purchased lower no-fault coverage.
- No-Fault PIP Choice — Effective July 1, 2020, drivers will no longer be required to purchase unlimited no-fault PIP benefits. For auto insurance policies issued or renewed after July 1, 2020, drivers have the choice of the following no-fault medical benefit coverage levels (1) $50,000 for drivers enrolled in Medicaid (2) $250,000/$500,000 or (3) no limit. We strongly recommend that people purchase the full catastrophic coverage.
- PIP Medical Benefits opt-out — For auto insurance policies issued or renewed after July 1, 2020, drivers with Medicare coverage are permitted to opt out of coverage for PIP medical benefits.
- Medical-provider fee schedule — A new fee schedule based on the Medicare fee schedule will be put in place to govern charges from doctors, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities and any provider who cares for and treats car accident victims. under Medicare. The new Medicare-based no-fault medical-provider fee schedule will apply to treatment or rehabilitative occupational training provided after July 1, 2021.
- Michigan Assigned Claims Plan — Effective June 11, 2019, uninsured passengers, pedestrians and other non-occupants will generally claim from the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan with a cap on allowable expenses of $250,000.
While these changes are intended to benefit policyholders by reining in escalating premiums, Michigan’s new no-fault car insurance scheme could make filing PIP first party claims and third-party insurance claims more challenging. By working with the legal team at Miller & Tischler, P.C. you will have confidence, knowing your claim is in good hands.
Call Our Michigan No-Fault Insurance Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident, you likely have concerns about recovering, mounting medical expenses, and getting back to your day-to-day life. At Miller & Tischler, P.C. we will address those concerns by providing you with powerful representation when you need it most. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.