A new trend among Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance companies is to intervene in probate proceedings. The goal is to force the attendant care provider to battle the insurance carrier in two courts, circuit and probate. This is an unfortunate new tactic. It causes additional expense and time to a family that already may have limited time and resources.
This year, a particularly aggressive insurance company filed a petition to appoint a public administrator as a conservator after the trial court had previously ruled that all attendant care benefits were to be paid directly to the provider, individually, and not as the guardian. The insurance company alleged that the attendant care provider, who also wore the hat of guardian, was mismanaging the benefits. The probate court had previously ruled that all benefits must be accounted for in the guardianship .
At an evidentiary hearing, the court denied the insurance company’s petition. The Probate Pro successfully argued that any concerns that the insurance company had regarding the management of benefits had been alleviated by the accountings performed in the guardianship file. No additional protection would have been afforded by the appointment of a conservator.
It is important to be aware that many filings in a guardianship file, including the Annual Report are being reviewed carefully by the insurance carriers to find a basis to deny a claim. If your guardianship was necessitated from an auto related accident in which personal injury protection benefits are begin paid, t is critical to carefully complete and review the Annual Report before filing the document.