Letter: End costly abuses of no-fault insurance
State Rep. Lana Theis states in her article in the Jan. 29 edition of Crain’s Detroit Business that her No. 1 priority is to reform Michigan’s auto no-fault system. Nowhere in her article does she indicate that protecting the consumer benefits of no-fault insurance is a priority. Shouldn’t that be her No. 1 priority as an elected representative?
As a rehabilitation nurse, I have recognized for decades the crucial difference no-fault auto insurance has for those who have sustained catastrophic injuries in an auto accident. Those who have been catastrophically injured in non-vehicular accidents, and who only have standard health insurance, only have coverage for time-limited rehabilitation treatment that is often inadequate. Worse yet, non-vehicular accident victims may have no insurance coverage at all.
As a result, the rehabilitation potential for these accident victims is short-changed, and severe disability and chronic dependency is the outcome. In contrast, access to a comprehensive rehabilitation program because of no-fault insurance allows victims the opportunity to achieve their optimum rehabilitation potential.
There is no doubt that there have been significant abuses of no-fault insurance. The overcharging practices of no-fault insurance by way too many medical providers and suppliers absolutely should be exposed and prohibited. Predatory attorney practices that result in unnecessary lawsuits should also be legally curtailed. Those reforms are absolutely needed. But in terms of the Personal Injury Protection benefits unique to Michigan’s no-fault legislation, why throw the baby out with the bathwater?
The auto insurance companies in Michigan are already making high profits. It isn’t possible to determine exactly how profitable auto insurance is in Michigan, but why would so many auto insurance companies be clamoring to do business in Michigan if it wasn’t highly profitable?
Why dismantle the Personal Protection Insurance that covers medical costs, wage loss, and replacement services for victims injured in auto accidents to increase profit margins?
Nor is there is any guarantee that doing so will result in significant rate reduction for consumers. In fact there is much evidence that premiums charged for no-fault insurance are already unnecessarily high.
Michigan has the best auto insurance benefits in the nation, but auto insurance does need to be more affordable. We need to make ending the costly abuses of no-fault and regulating premium rates relative to profit margins our reform priorities. The people of Michigan deserve no less.
Brenda Reeber, RN, CRRN
Letters guidelines:Crain’s Detroit Business will consider for publication all signed letters to the editor that do not defame individuals or organizations. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Email: .