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Judge says car insurance fund records are public

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- An insurance fund that charges Michigan drivers a fee to cover catastrophic injuries has been told to open its books to the public.

An Ingham County judge says the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association was created by the Legislature and is covered by the state Freedom of Information Act. The association must release a bushel of information, including how it sets rates, the number of claims, administrative expenses and the amount of money in reserve. No personal information will be released.

The Dec. 26 decision by Judge Clinton Canady III came in a lawsuit by a group called the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault. Michigan drivers now pay $175 per car per year on top of other insurance costs. The latest rate was increased by 21 percent.