Michigan car owners paying more for catastrophic claim fee

Grand Rapids' Heartside neighborhood.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The cost of owning a car or truck in Michigan is going up by $10.

Starting Saturday, the Catastrophic Claims Association will collect $170 per registered vehicle, up from $160. The insurance fund was created to reimburse insurers for claims that exceed $545,000.

The fee is added to insurance bills. The rate lasts for 12 months and can go up or down each year.

Critics say the Catastrophic Claims Association should open its books so the public can understand how it sets the rate. But Michigan courts have said the records aren’t covered by the Freedom of Information Act because lawmakers granted an exception.