NO-FAULT: What You Save, Gain, and Lose With the New Auto Insurance by Paul J. & Miriam T. Klipper Gillespie

NO-FAULT: What You Save, Gain, and Lose With the New Auto Insurance

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Centering their attention on Massachusetts' first-in-the-nation no-fault automobile insurance law which went into effect the first of last year, the authors argue vehemently that, while no-fault has worked in such areas as reducing nuisance claims and speeding settlement in minor personal injury cases, there is the danger ""that its usefulness will be oversold."" No-fault has been ""relentlessly paraded before the public"" by politicians, academicians, and the insurance industry as a panacea to zooming car insurance costs but the Massachusetts experience shows that the first year produced ""unconscionable profit"" for the companies and in 1972 the harried Bay State driver ""is paying considerably more for inferior coverage when compared to costs and benefits available under the fault system,"" putting the lie to early euphoric reports of great savings. Gillespie (a trial lawyer -- the American Trial Lawyers Association has actively lobbied against no-fault from the start) and Klipper (a business editor) also run down other no-fault legislation (Illinois; Oregon; Maryland) and pending proposals including the Hart-Magnuson bill for federal no-fault and the Transportation Department's recommendations. The no-fault concept is admittedly controversial: it shatters the negligence doctrine on which auto insurance law has been based since the Model A; it eliminates the good-driver merit system; and -- this is heresy -- it indirectly bills the accident-free driver for damages caused by the reckless one. And now, in view of this first thorough (though hardly unbiased) inspection of the Massachusetts data, it is difficult not to agree with the authors that a new road test is in order before giving nofault the gas.

Pub Date: May 11th, 1972
Publisher: Praeger