Sunday, September 14, 2014

Adult Children on parent's Auto Insurance may not be Good
For Lots of reasons

Besides the legal liability that may extend to the parents from an adult child's negligence in an automobile, there are concerns also about the Michigan No Fault coverage for that child who is involved in a car accident.

The Michigan Court of Appeals last week re-affirmed a long standing application of the law.  It stems from parents who add children to their auto insurance policies, when those children no longer live with the parents.  Because they no longer live with the parents, they may not be treated as part of the household, and may lose No Fault "household" coverage for that reason.  More importantly, though, is that the children added to the policy are not the Primary Insured on the account, instead they are additional drivers added to the account.

The court held that as additional drivers added to the account, they were not "insured" for the purposes of being able to receive No-Fault benefits under Michigan Law. So, if those children also didn't get coverage for no longer being a member of the parents household, they may be completely out of luck under the Michigan No-Fault coverage.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Free Speech rights and your License Plates

Anyone who has applied for a vanity license plate knows that the DMV won't allow certain combinations of letters (or words).  Their policy often cites "public policy" or "safety" of our transportation system and citizens, or that a particular plate would be "offensive".

Recently in Michigan, a citizen sued the Secretary of State in Federal Court over an overbroad censorship of what could be allowed on license plates.  Guess what?  The Citizen won!  In fact, two Citizens won.

David DeVarti sued the MI Secretary of stated for the denial of his request for a "WAR SUX" license plate. The state defended their denial, arguing that "SUX" carries a sexual connotation inappropriate for a license plate.  The State in effect lost by settling the case.  The settlement required the state to issue the license plate AND to pay $21,500 in attorney fees to DeVarti.

Also, another lawsuit in Federal court asked for  issuance of the plate “INF1DL”.   It too, was initially rejected by the state, but after the lawsuit was filed, the state issued the license plate.

These are significant cases in that they go to the core of our First Amendment right to Free Speech.  There are certain times when certain speech should be restricted, but clearly the State of Michigan had gone too far in their restriction of free speech on your license plates.