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State Reaches Settlement to Protect Michigan Car Accident Victims
August 16, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2021
(LANSING, MICH) In a major win for Michigan consumers, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has reached an agreement that ensures unlimited Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage for uninsured vehicle occupants and pedestrians who were injured in auto accidents prior to the July 2, 2020 implementation of Michigan's new auto insurance law.
"Michigan's historic, bipartisan auto insurance law is protecting consumers and saving Michiganders money, and we are committed to ensuring that every Michigander receives the insurance benefits to which they are entitled," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "I am pleased that DIFS was able to lead the way to find a solution that works for all involved. After this agreement, these Michiganders can rest easy that they will continue to receive the medical coverage provided under Michigan law."
"We are happy that this matter has been successfully resolved. As a consumer protection agency, DIFS is always focused on the best interest of Michigan consumers," said DIFS Director Anita Fox. "The premature imposition of a $250,000 cap could have severely impacted the lives of Michigan drivers and uninsured passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. As always, DIFS is here to help consumers and we will continue to do everything possible to ensure Michiganders have the insurance protection they are entitled to receive."
In Michigan, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage pays for medical care, recovery, and rehabilitation when people are injured in auto accidents. Previously, uninsured non-drivers, such as passengers and pedestrians, were entitled to receive unlimited PIP medical coverage through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP), which is administered by the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility (MAIPF). Under Michigan's new auto insurance law, this coverage was capped at $250,000 for claims incurred beginning July 2, 2020. Uninsured non-drivers injured between June 11, 2019, when the new auto insurance law was enacted, and the law's July 2, 2020 effective date faced uncertainty about their coverage limits due to differing interpretations of the new statute.
To address this issue, DIFS issued Order 19-049-M to clarify that the MACP was required to provide unlimited PIP medical coverage to those uninsured non-drivers who were injured prior to July 2, 2020. The MAIPF, which administers the MACP, then filed a lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims, seeking to overturn the DIFS order and to allow this coverage to be capped at $250,000 as of June 11, 2019. The Michigan Court of Claims upheld the DIFS order, ensuring that eligible uninsured non-drivers had access to unlimited PIP medical coverage when they were injured in an automobile accident. MAIPF had filed an appeal to the Court of Claims decision but, under the terms of the settlement, it has been dropped.
DIFS continues to operate its dedicated, auto insurance hotline with calls being answered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 833-ASK-DIFS (833-275-3437). Drivers can also email email@example.com or visit Michigan.gov/AutoInsurance for more information.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.