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Michigan House Introduces Anti-Insurance Legislation

The Michigan House Committee for Insurance gave notice Monday that it will hear a package of bills seeking to expand bad faith liability and increase penalties and attorney’s fees. Viewed as a unit, the package of bills is tantamount to an assault on the insurance industry in Michigan.

NAMIC is working with trade partners to undertake a public relations and lobbying effort to voice our strong opposition to these bills and highlight their anti-business intent. In a state beleaguered by falling employment rates and struggling economic engines, these bills simply fly in the face of an industry that provides vital stimulus and more than 55,000 jobs to Michiganians.

NAMIC encourages any company writing business in Michigan to join us in contacting the House Insurance Committee to vocalize your positive impact on the Michigan economy and how this series of bills will join the growing number of efforts that harm Michigan consumers by driving up the costs of doing business.

The following bills were listed on the Insurance Committee’s alert and may be viewed in full text by visiting legislature.mi.gov:

  • HB 4244: Insurance; insurers; remedies for failure to timely pay benefits; expand to include attorney fee under certain circumstances.
  • HB 4846: Insurance; unfair trade practices; penalties for engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
  • HB 5144: Insurance; unfair trade practices; whistleblower protection to insurance employees reporting violations of unfair practices in insurance law
  • HB 5145: Insurance; unfair trade practices; breach of obligation to deal in good faith by certain insurers; impose penalty of second or subsequent violation.
  • HB 5146: Insurance; unfair trade practices; violation of unfair and prohibited trade practices act by certain insurers; create presumption that violation was in bad faith and create remedies.
  • HB 5147: Insurance; unfair trade practices; penalties for certain individuals who knowingly create, foster, or encourage an environment that leads to systemic wrongful denial of claims.
  • HB 5148: Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guideline for crime of knowingly creating, fostering, or encouraging an environment that leads to systemic wrongful denial of claims.
  • HB 5149: Insurance; unfair trade practices; insurance whistleblower protection fund.
  • HB 5150: Insurance; unfair trade practices; private citizen cause of action.
  • HB 5151: Insurance; insurers; insurer that in bad faith fails to timely pay benefits; require to notify credit reporting agencies.
  • HB 4844: Insurance; no-fault; duty to deal fairly.
  • HB 5020: Insurance; insurers; requirement for certain insurers to deal fairly and in good faith with individuals claiming benefits.

NAMIC will continue to battle these efforts, and we will keep you informed as the issue develops.

Direct questions to NAMIC State Affairs Manager Erin Collins.

Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Thursday, July 16, 2009 8:25:58 AM.

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