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The D-Insurance proposal Mayor Mike Duggan is a problem for Detroit residents. But even if you don’t live in Detroit, you could still pay a big price.
Under the Michigan No Fault Act, drivers can rest easy, knowing that they won’t be on the hook for the other motorists’ medical expenses. No-fault policies will cover all medical expenses of the policy holders and their families. The at-fault driver may still be liable for other damages, though. Which is why wise drivers also carry under-insured motorists insurance.
But the D-Insurance proposal would offer a policy that greatly reduces the amount of coverage provided. Once an accident victim has stabilized, he or she is only entitled to $25,000 in medical expenses, lost wages, and other services. It’s not clear under the D-Insurance proposal who will pick up the slack. Depending on how judges read the new proposal, should it become law, all those unpaid medical expenses could fall on the shoulders of the at-fault driver.
Because you never know whether the person you hit will be on a D-Insurance qualified plan or the standard No Fault Insurance Act, you will need to make a decision about your under-insured motorists insurance. Unlike Michigan No-Fault, your under-insured motorists policy will have a set limit on the amount paid per accident. A smart motorist chooses a policy level to cover the cost of a standard accident.
But with D-Insurance in the mix, that number could skyrocket. If at-fault drivers now have to cover medical expenses on top of the other Third Party damages, the cost could quickly outstrip their coverage. That leaves at fault drivers with two choices: get much higher under-insured motorists coverage just in case they hit a Detroit resident, or run the risk of having to pay $100,000s out of pocket.
Residents in Northern or Western Michigan may think this is a pretty low risk. But there is nothing in the D-Insurance policy that limits it to Detroit. Instead, it would apply to any city where over half of the drivers are uninsured. That means as soon as the proposal becomes law, it will also apply in many other low-income areas all across the state.
D-Insurance isn’t just a problem for Detroit. It is a risk for motorists all across Michigan. The possibility of having to cover other drivers’ medical expenses could force motorists to make tough choices on under-insured motorists insurance. A serious accident with a D-insurance policy holder could even put an at-fault into bankruptcy.
Do you think D-Insurance is worth the risk for Michigan drivers? Should at-fault drivers have to pay for the injuries they cause? Let us know what you think in the comments.
David Christensen is an auto accident attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. If you have been seriously injured in an auto accident, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.