Auto Accident Attorney David Christensen went head to head with Eric Poe, COO of CURE Auto Insurance on CBS Detroit’s “Michigan Matters.” The bottom line: Michigan insurance needs to change, but D-Insurance is not the answer.
Carol Cain invited top no-fault lawyer David Christensen and auto insurance champion Eric Poe to appear on Sunday, November 15, 2015, to discuss D-Insurance, a no-fault reform bill proposed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
Eric Poe called Michigan’s insurance situation a “crisis,” claiming it is a dysfunctional market that leaves 60% of Detroit drivers uninsured.
David Christensen agreed that insurance needs to be affordable for drivers. But D-Insurance doesn’t promise that. The law makes no guarantees regarding lower premiums. Instead, it offers substandard insurance to Detroiters that is so minimal, it is almost no insurance at all.
If adopted, D-Insurance would take Michigan from the best auto insurance law in the country to the worst – limiting families to $25,000 of non-emergency care and shifting excess medical expenses onto the taxpayers. Emergency coverage of $275,000 aggregate only apply to an injured motorist’s initial hospitalization. They cut off as soon as the person is stable enough to be transferred to a rehab facility.
Eric Poe said the biggest problem with Michigan insurance is the lack of cost containment. He said the industry faced abuse from health care providers who charge much more after an accident than in other fee schedule cases like Medicare or Workers’ Compensation.
David Christensen did not have an opportunity to respond to those allegations in the interview. However, those fee schedules come in exchange for assurances of timely payment. Neither are available under D-Insurance. The bill would leave medical providers with limited recovery but all the same litigation expenses and delays.
Instead, Attorney David Christensen emphasized the need to regulate discriminatory pricing models called red-lining. Eric Poe agreed that insurance companies too often consider education, occupation, and credit scores in setting insurance premiums. David Christensen said, according to “An Analysis of Profitability and Pricing in the Michigan Auto Insurance Market” by Jay Angoff of Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, some companies are charging $3,000 per year for the same policies available elsewhere for $2,300.
The lack of accountability in auto insurance industry price-setting and the practice of red-lining are driving up the cost of insurance in Michigan, and especially in Detroit. D-Insurance doesn’t do anything to address these practices and instead provides substandard care to those who can’t afford the industry’s discriminatory rates. Michigan legislators need to see through the sales pitch of lower insurance rates and realize that D-Insurance is bad for Detroit, and for Michigan. Without meaningful controls on premiums this bill will only benefit the insurance industry and not the citizens of Detroit.
David Christensen is an auto accident attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He has been representing car accident victims for over 20 years. If you have been seriously injured in an auto accident, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.