Court: Insurance fund public, records can be withheld
Lansing — A new court decision will keep the public’s eyes from records of an auto insurance fund.
The Michigan appeals court ruled the state Catastrophic Claims Association is a public body, but lawmakers legally carved out an exemption from public records disclosure.
The insurance fund was created to reimburse insurers for catastrophic claims that exceed $545,000. Owners pay $160 per vehicle per year on top of regular insurance.
A coalition of health care, labor and consumer organizations wants to know how the fund calculates rates.
The court’s 2-1 decision was released Friday. In dissent, Judge Elizabeth Gleicher says lawmakers violated the constitution when they threw a cloak over the fund’s records without amending Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act.
She says no one would know there’s a “covert” exemption in insurance law.