What is the old joke? The legislature is in session, hold onto your pocketbooks? Well you might want to hold even tighter onto your civil rights and protections. There has been a group of insurance bills that have been introduced that are Christmas presents to insurance companies.
Why should it matter to you? Because auto insurance is a mandatory item in the state. Which means you’ve got to buy it, so maybe you want to get something of value back?
The recent bills include such gifts as:
– Limitations on what providers you can go to based upon what they are paid. If you prefer to see a chiropractor or a physical therapist, they may not get their bills paid. While if you go to the pill dispenser down the street, they will. This plan sets the doctors against the chiropractors, with no real attention to the injured policyholder.
– Then there is the bill that takes away a claim from someone without insurance, but allows them to collect their medical bills and wage loss. So they would recover what no fault would have paid if they have coverage, but they get nothing for the damage that is usually paid for pain and suffering. Since the policy holding defendant will still get dinged for the claim, who is going to save money on this one?
– There is also the bill to tighten the tort thresholds. These are the items that a person must meet to recover in a claim. Still nothing about telling the jury the truth and the impact of these questions. Again, the savings is only for the insurance companies, and the changes would potentially make it more likely that cases will try because of the uncertainty of what is covered and what isn’t.
There are fair changes that can be done to the No Fault act to save money and to still protect consumers. But, to do that the voice of the consumer would need to be recognized. These bills are over reaching and simply seem to be some swaddling of an industry that doesn’t deserve it.
Insurance Company Approximate Company Value/Revenues:
State Farm: $61.2 billion net worth in 2010
Allstate: $32 billion net worth in 2009
Farmers: $70 billion net worth in 2009
Liberty Mutual: $29 billion net worth in 2009
The Hartford: $24 billion net worth in 2009
Nationwide: $22 billion net worth in 2009
Progressive: $14.5 billion net worth in 2009
Esurance: $10 billion net worth in 2009
GEICO: $9 billion net worth in 2009
American Family: $6.7 billion net worth in 2008
We have a system that works and protects people. The number of case filings is down and people have protections guaranteed by both the US and the Minnesota constitutions. Listen to the voices of those who work in the system, who have been harmed and benefited by the system’s protections, and those who use facts supported by logic.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.