Under current law, all auto insurance policies in Michigan cover lifetime medical and rehabilitation care expenses for injured drivers and passengers — for as long as the care is needed. Under the new law, Michigan drivers for the first time will have the option to choose significantly lower levels of medical coverage when they buy or renew their policies.
Although the new no-fault law allows motorists to purchase different levels of medical coverage, or “Personal Injury Protection” (PIP), opting for less than full coverage can result in high out-of-pocket medical costs down the road if injured in a car crash. The PIP options under the new law, with some exceptions and exclusions, are:
• Unlimited medical coverage per person per accident.
• Up to $500,000 in medical coverage per person per accident.
• Up to $250,000 in medical coverage per person per accident.
• Up to $250,000 in medical coverage per person per accident with exclusions (under certain conditions).
• Up to $50,000 in coverage per person per accident (under certain conditions).
• PIP opt-out (under certain conditions).
“Roughly four out of every 10 Michigan motorists have been in a serious crash, or know someone who has. The importance of making sure consumers are informed about the new law can’t be overstated,” said Brian Peters, chief executive officer of the MHA. “Drivers who purchase less medical coverage may see some initial savings in their auto insurance premiums, but they need to understand the potential risk they’re taking if they are injured in a car accident.”
The MHA launched the public education campaign after extensive research found the state’s 7.2 million licensed drivers are largely unfamiliar with the new auto no-fault law. The research completed last fall by Escalent, a southeast Michigan company that conducts specialized market and consumer behavior research for many companies and industries, found that only 12% of insured motorists are “very familiar” and 35% are “a little familiar” with the new law, while 53% have just “heard of it” or are “not at all familiar.” Escalent also found that 38% of insured Michigan motorists and 52% of those who have no auto insurance either have been in a serious car crash or know someone who has been in a serious crash.
The public education campaign includes radio, billboard, and social media paid ads across Michigan, earned media activities, and the DriveProtected.org website, where consumers can find answers to their questions about the new auto no-fault insurance law.