Smith & Eddy Insurance answers no-fault insurance reform questions.

March 8, 2020

Scott Smith

Smith & Eddy Insurance answers no-fault insurance reform questions.

Part 1: Impact on senior citizens.

Michigan’s no-fault insurance law will drastically change this summer. In response to Michigan residents asking to reduce insurance costs, last year Michigan legislators changed the insurance laws. Every Michigan vehicle owner must now have a conversation with his/her vehicle and medical insurers to select the insurance policy that is right for them. Smith & Eddy Insurance will be holding a series of public meetings (see schedule below) along with informational articles and videos here on Mason County Press.

In this interview Smith & Eddy Insurance President Scott Smith answers questions about how vehicle insurance reform will impact senior citizens:   

MCP: When will the new Michigan No Fault Laws go into effect?

Smith: July 2, 2020

 

MCP: What is the immediate impact of the new law on local seniors?

Smith: Three things: Choices for medical coverage; decrease in Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) fee; new law limits personal injury protection coverage to named insured, spouse, and resident relative.

 

MCP: How is a vehicle owner’s current auto policy medical coverage different from what they will have with the reforms?

Smith: Currently you have unlimited medical coverage by law, and that coverage includes in home attendant care and home/auto modifications to seniors injured in auto accidents. The new law will allow seniors to keep that unlimited coverage if wanted or select a different level of coverage. Completely waiving your coverage is now an option as well. However it is important for seniors to know that limiting coverage or waiving coverage completely, although a cost savings, could leave you without the vital in home attendant care coverage or the ability to modify your vehicle or home to accommodate your new limitations following an accident.

 

MCP: What is the MCCA and how does this change with the new law.

Smith: Currently each vehicle in the state of Michigan is assessed a fee, $220, that was used to supplement catastrophic auto injuries/losses. That is the MCCA fund. With the removal of the unlimited coverage, the state has reduced that fee being charged by around $100 per vehicle. You should see an immediate savings at your next renewal.

 

MCP: How does the new law effect who is going to be covered by my policy?

Smith: We now have only three categories of people who are potentially covered by your policy: Named insured; your spouse; and resident relative.

This resident relative is the one we would like to focus on. This is restricting medical Injury coverage (PIP) on your policy to just those three categories. How this could become a problem for local seniors is when they allow the use of their vehicle to other individuals that do not live in the home. We often see this as children or grandchildren living away from the residence and driving our insured vehicle. They are not covered on the policy and if in an accident without their own policy they would not be covered from our policy like they may have been in the past.

Schedule of informational meetings:

  • Thursday, March 12, Scottville Area Senior Center, 140 S. Main St., Scottville, 12:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 18, Scottville Optimist Club, Scottville Optimist Center, 105 W. Green St., Scottville, noon.
  • Tuesday, March 24, Ludington Optimist Club, American Legion, 318 N. James St., Ludington, noon.
  • Thursday, March 26, Ludington Rotary Club, Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 107 N. Harrison St., Ludington, noon.

For more information contact Smith & Eddy Insurance at 231-757-4743, with offices in Scottville, Ludington, and Manistee.

 

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