Auto Insurance Refunds Coming Up For MI Auto Policyholders, Catastrophically Injured Patients Feel Ignored

GAINES, Mich. (WJRT) – Silver, back in the driver’s wallet. Michigan drivers with auto insurance policies will soon receive a refund check, thanks to a $ 5 billion surplus in the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association fund.

Governor Whitmer requested the refunds earlier in the weekend, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association board of directors quickly accepted and approved the governor’s request.

Right now, for those with a Michigan auto insurance policy, they’ll likely know if they’ll end up getting a refund.

So how did we come to this?

First, let’s go back in time to 1972, when Michigan’s No-fault Insurance Act was put in place, allowing unlimited, lifelong medical benefits for those who were catastrophically injured in a car accident. car.

“Back then, cars weren’t as safe as they are now, and I think back then a lot more money in a crash – if it was catastrophic – you had a lot more money to spend – now a few days the cars are so much safer, ”said Bob Brundle, an independent insurance agent for Grand Blanc.

Brundle believes part of the reason that excess has inflated so high is because the cars are safer, which means fewer catastrophic injuries.

He said it’s important to remember that the $ 5 billion surplus is money every vehicle owner has contributed.

“If you have three cars on one policy, you’re going to pay the MCCA three times. It’s not by police, it’s by car, so you can get a big discount on auto police – but on every car – they’re going to give something to the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, that’s another way. the excess may have been built up, ”Brundle said.

Governor Whitmer earlier this week called on the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to reimburse Michigan drivers for its excess.

The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association board of directors quickly voted unanimously to issue these refunds.

What we don’t know at this point is how many they will be and when it will happen. The board said information would be released in the coming weeks.

It’s important to remember that not everyone agrees with these Michigan driver refunds.

Bill Nagy and his wife Jody of Gaines are clearly upset and frustrated by the recent decision of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to pay off a $ 5 billion surplus to Michigan drivers, and not pay that money to people who have it. Not needed anymore.

ABC12 News first told Bill’s story about a month ago and the financial hardships they now face as a result of changes without no-fault auto insurance reform in the state.

The latest news from the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association almost adds insult to injury for people like Bill.

Bill and his wife were certainly upset, they felt betrayed and they just felt like they were being ignored and nobody cared.

“My depression is so bad that I can’t talk much,” Nagy said.

Nagy’s world was turned upside down four years ago when he was catastrophically injured in a motorcycle accident.

This left him with two brain injuries, a broken nose, collarbones, ribs and too many injuries to list. He also lost his right leg.

When he and his wife Jody learned that Governor Whitmer had asked the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to reimburse its $ 5 billion surplus to drivers with auto policies in the state, the couple were crushed.

“It’s more than a slap in the face. It’s a travesty that this is happening, ”Gaines said.

Nagy said that it is because of changes in the insurance reform laws that he is not receiving the care he needs such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and massage therapy because the insurance is not will not pay for it.

“A lot of them are losing their homes, a lot of them can’t get their supplies. If they try to get them into a nursing home, they can’t get them into a nursing home because they don’t have the equipment, the skills or the manpower, trying to have caregivers is almost impossible. It’s very, very sad, ”Gaines said.

What’s even more upsetting for Bill and Jody is the fact that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association is sitting on this large surplus and no dollars are going to go to the people the fund was designed to help.

“How the governor and all these people who want to get rid of this money, how would they feel if it was their family.” Someone in their family is in our place, ”Nagy said.

Bill and Jody are hopeful that something will happen in their favor.

They both said the whole situation and the inaction of state lawmakers to help those catastrophically injured was, in their words, reckless.

Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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Justin D. O'Neill

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