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Michigan: House Passes Bad-Faith Package; NAMIC Urges Senate to Vote 'No'

The Michigan House passed a 12-bill package of bad-faith legislation last night, bringing to a close weeks of misinformation and public attacks on the industry by House Democrats.

The House Insurance Committee gave notice Tuesday morning that it would hold a meeting the following day at 9 a.m. to vote on the package. At 3:30 p.m. that same day, substitutes for 11 of the 12 bills were released, tying the measures together, changing definitions, and restricting the scope to property/casualty insurance. When government scholars talk about the intentionally slow and deliberate process of lawmaking so as to protect citizens it is doubtful that they have Michigan House Democrats in mind.

Although there were some amendments on the House floor, including a requirement for exhaustion of regulatory remedies, the package remains only a benefit for frivolous lawsuits and increased costs to consumers. The measures now head to the Senate Committee on Economic Development and Regulatory Affairs, where NAMIC and our trade partners are confident that cooler heads will prevail.

The House Democrats who voted for this package have done no service to their constituents. The grand effect of such terrible lawmaking would be unjustified litigation and higher costs for companies and their policyholders. This is an insult to the 55,000 hardworking insurance professionals in Michigan and a boon to a trial bar seemingly determined on causes of action that are unnecessary and a way to extort unfair settlements and fees.

As the action moves into the Senate, NAMIC will work with our partners to continue the fight against this package. NAMIC encourages member companies to remain at-the-ready on this issue and keep an eye out for alerts asking for your action.

Direct questions to NAMIC State Affairs Manager Erin Collins.

Posted: Thursday, August 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Monday, August 24, 2009 1:16:50 PM.

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