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Michigan Insurance Commissioner Issues Order, Defining Period for Suits Under Insurance Policies


Michigan Insurance Commissioner Linda Watters issued an order on Dec. 16, 2005 prohibiting insurers from using new or revised insurance policy forms to limit the time an insured has to file an uninsured motorists claim or lawsuit to less than three years. The Order was made generally available to the public in news released by the Insurance Institute of Michigan (IIM), a NAMIC state advocacy partner.

In a letter to insurers, the Commissioner said the prohibition does not apply to policy forms currently in use. Motorists and lawyers must be aware of this important distinction.

Watters said the Order was issued in reaction to a recent Michigan Supreme Court decision, Rory v Continental Insurance Company. In Rory, the Michigan Supreme Court upheld an insurance policy with a one-year limitation period. Watters’ press release says that any limitation period below three years is misleading and unreasonable.

Under Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system uninsured motorist coverage is optional.

February 3, 2006
David A. Domina

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