Michigan Supreme Court Could Rule on Auto Insurance Records

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  • Auto insurance costs have certainly been a big concern for millions of Americans over the last few years, as premiums continue to rise for reasons that might be outside their control. Now, a number of groups in Michigan are trying to gain access to more data about how auto insurers set rates, and a judge may soon allow them to do so. Rising costs are certainly an issue that many insurance agents are likely to encounter over time, and one for which they might have to better prepare their clients if they want to ensure they’re satisfied with their coverage.

    The Michigan Supreme Court may soon take up a case in which a group of medical, labor, and consumer advocacy groups want to know how the insurance fund known as the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association calculates the rates it charges to drivers, the report said. The groups contend that in addition to the rates normal insurers charge – which are already among the highest in the country for many ZIP codes – residents pay $186 per insured vehicle annually for the fund’s additional coverage.

    Future proceedings
    The MCCA specifically pays out additional money when dealing with serious injuries – those with claims in excess of $530,000 – and essentially provides unlimited coverage, but the added cost seems onerous to many, the report said. The way in which that $186 per vehicle is tabulated is not currently a matter of public record, and it’s believed that the process could be unfair. Right now, the Supreme Court is only willing to hear arguments as to whether it should take up the case, rather than the particulars of it, and will determine how to proceed within the next several weeks.

    When insurance agents run into these issues, they need to keep in mind that what their clients often want is assurances that they’re getting a good deal on their coverage. The good news is that, often, they may value the ability to receive high-quality customer service more so than just the occasional discounts their agents can find them. Therefore, the agents who will likely have the most success in terms of keeping clients happy and ensuring the highest possible retention rates are likely those who are going to be able to strike the best balance between these two issues.