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Court: Insurance fund is public but records can be withheld

Pexels | CC BY 2.0

A new court decision will keep the public's eyes from records of an auto insurance fund.

The Michigan appeals court says 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.

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