Michigan Court of Appeals rules MCCA records not subject to FOIA

Lansing, Mich. – Today the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the privacy of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) and ruled that the organization is exempt from the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – overturning a ruling from a lower court granting public access to the private association’s records.

The law clearly states that the MCCA is not a government agency. The MCCA is an unincorporated nonprofit association established under the law to provide reinsurance to the insurance industry for large catastrophic claims and is not subject to the FOIA.

“The legislature deliberately insulated the MCCA from state government because insurance companies, not state government, are responsible for the debts and liabilities of the MCCA,” said Tom Shields, spokesperson for the Michigan Insurance Coalition (MIC). “We applaud the Court of Appeals for its clear and concise ruling. We also applaud the MCCA for going above and beyond the requirements by releasing their financial audits and providing public disclosure for their budgets, costs, and other information about the MCCA.”

Even though it is not required to do so, the MCCA publishes volumes of information on its website regarding the history of claims and data that are used each year to charges the MCCA assesses its member companies. Anyone can access the information at michigancatastrophic.com.

The Michigan Insurance Coalition is supportive of the proposal to create a new public authority that would provide coverage for catastrophic injuries from auto related accidents. That new authority would be run by a publicly appointed board and it would be subject to FOIA. Any obligations of the MCCA would continue to be handled by the MCCA until all of those claims are satisfied.

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The Michigan Insurance Coalition is a Lansing-based state property-casualty trade association. MIC’s members are insurers who annually serve more than $3 billion of Michigan insurance policies. Most of MIC’s members have their national headquarters located right in Michigan – proudly employing thousands of Michigan residents directly and contracting with thousands of individual agents to help serve their customers.