Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 139129; Published
Judges Griffin, Weaver, and McDonald; Unanimous; Per Curium
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: 195 Mich App 1; Link to Opinion
Limitations Period for PPI Claims [§3145(2)]
Tolling of Limitations Upon Submission of Claim [§3145]
Applicability of Limitations Period to Claims by Insurers Against Other Insurers [§3145]
In this per curiam published Opinion, the Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether sending notice of a claim for property protection insurance benefits was sufficient to toll the one year statute of limitations to bring suit to enforce the claim.
Defendant Amerisure insured an automobile that, as a result of an accident with another car, collided with a building insured by plaintiff. Approximately six months after the accident, plaintiff USF&G, the property insurer, notified Amerisure of its intention to seek subrogation under the property protection insurance benefit provisions of the automobile insurance policy. Plaintiff sent two subsequent letters to the defendant concerning its subrogation claim. Eighteen months after the date of the accident, the Amerisure denied the claim. USF&G filed suit two months later, twenty months after the accident had occurred.
Amerisure argued in the trial court that plaintiffs claim was barred by the one year statute of limitations. The trial court held that the statute of limitations was tolled during the time period between the date the notice of the claim was made by plaintiff and the date when the claim was denied by defendant. The no-fault carrier, Amerisure, appealed this ruling.
The Court of Appeals held that the statute of limitations for plaintiffs claim was not tolled between the date when the claim was first filed and the date of denial by Amerisure. In the statute of limitations provisions of §3145 of the no-fault act, the first subsection addressing personal protection insurance benefits specifically provides for tolling while a claim is pending with the insurer. Conversely, subsection (2) of §3145 pertaining to property protection insurance benefits does not contain a similar provision. Because a tolling provision was expressly mentioned with respect to personal protection insurance benefits, the court found that the exclusion of a similar provision, with respect to property protection insurance benefits, indicated the intent of the Legislature to deny tolling while a claim for these types of benefits is pending.