FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 12, 2021
(LANSING, MICH) In a move that will help clarify the care to which auto accident victims are entitled, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) issued guidance on the attendant care provision of Michigan's new auto insurance law.
"This guidance reminds survivors and their families of their rights under the law as we work to ensure that Michiganders receive the care to which they are entitled," said DIFS Director Anita Fox. "DIFS is working closely with insurers to address access to care concerns, and we stand ready to assist consumers with questions or concerns regarding attendant care or any other provision of the new auto insurance law."
Michigan's historic bipartisan auto insurance reform law, which Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law in 2019, lowered costs for Michigan drivers and strengthened consumer protections in the auto insurance market.
One key provision, which went into effect July 1, 2021, was a change to in-home attendant care provided to accident survivors by family members, household residents, or individuals with whom the survivor had a business or social relationship prior to their accident. Attendant care includes assistance with eating, dressing, or administering medications. A misconception led some to mistakenly believe that the change applied to all attendant care services and could stop accident survivors from receiving reasonably appropriate care. The new DIFS bulletin explains that, for those whose necessary care exceeds 56 hours per week, insurers are required to cover care provided by an outside provider or to contract with the survivor's family or friends to provide care in excess of 56 hours per week. To date, insurers representing more than 90% of Michigan's auto insurance market have indicated that they will consider, on a case-by-case basis, contracting with family and friends for reasonably necessary care over 56 hours per week.
Consumers who need assistance related to attendant care concerns should first try to work with their auto insurers, but if they can't resolve concerns expeditiously, they should file a complaint by calling DIFS Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 833-ASK-DIFS (833-275-3437) or online at Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.
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.