Judge claims insurers must provide proof to justify annual fee for all vehicles
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/08/2013 -- The consumers of Michigan will be benefiting from a recent ruling by the Ingham County Circuit Judge Clinton Canady III, who ruled that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association should make their files public, based upon the Freedom of Information Act.
MCCA is the association that calculates charges assessed to Michigan drivers to cover all medical benefits that are required under the state's “no-fault” insurance law. The fees collected by the MCCA are reimbursed to insurance companies for medical care of vehicle accident injuries when the total exceeds $500,000. Currently, Michigan residents pay $175 per vehicle.
The Coalition Protecting Auto No Fault and Brain Injury Association of Michigan sued for access to the records, regarding how the fees were calculated. The MCCA and the insurance industry argued that the information sought after is already available with the state and the MCCA is a nonprofit. By claiming nonprofit, the MCCA would not be a policy-setting public body, and thus would not have to disclose numbers. The judge found that the MCCA exists by virtue of state law, and is thus required to be beholden to such inquiries for public interest.
Transparency is the slated goal in this matter, while the MCCA attempts to keep their information shrouded regarding their policy and decision making. It was made clear that identifying information of patients is private, and would not be disclosed. Instead, the process set for levying fees on customers is what is under the microscope.
Meanwhile, Michigan is also enjoying the benefits of a strong 2012 fiscal year, as sales reached their strongest three-quarter mark since 2007.
December figures to also have a promising tally according to manufacturers data. Chrysler posted a 10% increase in sales in December compared to 2011. General Motors saw a 4.9% increase in the same month, and Ford had a modest 1.9% increase.
GM officials also express optimism for the 2013 season, while sales of Lansing-made models experienced a dip overall.
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