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Michigan Supreme Court Admire v. Auto Owners Insurance Company

Man in wheelchair entering handicapp accessible van

Michigan Supreme Court:  Auto Insurers Must Pay for Modifications, But not Vehicle

May 23, 2013

The Michigan Supreme Court issued a decision in Admire v. Auto Owners Insurance Company.  Court held that when an individual requires accessible transportation as a result of injuries sustained in an auto accident, the insurance company is only required to pay for the modifications to the vehicle rather than the cost of both the modifications and the vehicle.

In reaching this decision, the Court made two points.  First, the individual would need transportation regardless of whether or not he was injured, so the insurance company was only required to pay for the additional expense of modification.  Second, the van and the modifications were not so blended together that it was impossible to separate out the two costs.

This decision changes the practice of purchasing fully modified vehicles for individuals who require accessible transportation as the result of an auto accident.  Individuals will now be required to pay out of pocket for a vehicle that is large enough to be modified—generally a mini-van or full size van—a cost that would have been previously born by the insurance company. 

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Posted on:
June 04, 2013