Bi-partisan initiative to bring lower auto insurance rates
Michigan drivers pay an average premium of twice what Minnesota drivers pay and 4 times what our Badger State neighbor across the lake ponies up annually.
In fact our state has the highest rates in the country and second place Louisiana isn’t all that close.
A good deal of it is because we are required to purchase unlimited personal injury protection (PIP) guaranteeing the insurance companies will foot the bill for all medical costs associated with car accident injuries regardless of who is responsible for the accident.
And now, finally, a little relief appears to be in sight.
On a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend our Lansing legislators caught hold of a little kumbaya moment resulting in the passage of a bill aimed at reducing those rates.
An initiative that has been an ongoing issue through many campaigns and legislative sessions saw some light at last when both the House and Senate achieved what has often seems out of reach in our Capital City, a bi-partisan vote on a key issue. A phenomena that seems to elude those who are conducting business in D.C.
Under the new plan, drivers can choose between five tiers of PIP coverage beginning July 1 2020 including the same coverage now mandated, choosing one of three tiers of lower coverage and even opting out of PIP if your medical insurance covers collision injuries. The savings run from 10-45% depending on coverage and those rate rollbacks must say in place until July 1, 2028.
If a driver doesn’t have unlimited PIP coverage under the new system and gets in a car accident that’s not their fault, and medical costs exceed the amount of coverage they have purchased, they can sue the at-fault driver for charges beyond their coverage.
Here are reactions from the Guv as well as our local legislators
Governor Gretchen Whitmer:
“Today’s vote is truly historic. We've accomplished more in the last five months than in the last five years. This vote demonstrates that when both parties work together and build bridges, we can solve problems and make life better for the people of Michigan.
“This plan will help drivers from Detroit all the way to the U.P. It guarantees lower auto insurance rates for eight years, protects people’s choice to pick their own insurance and coverage options while preserving the safety net, and bans insurance companies from using discriminatory non-driving factors when setting rates.”
Representative Scott Van Singel
"I would like to thank the Governor, House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader for their hard work behind the scenes to reach a compromise which will substantially lower auto insurance rates for Michigan drivers, but still preserve the best and most comprehensive auto insurance system in the country. All parties in the negotiations had to give a little, but the final product, while not perfect, is a very good bill which addresses all of the main cost drivers of high insurance rates in Michigan. This reform was a generation in the making and the vote today is an historic milestone for our state."
Senator Jon Bumstead:
“We’ve worked hard over the last few weeks coming to an agreement that will benefit Michigan drivers. For the first time in nearly 50 years, drivers will have the option to choose which coverage best works for their family’s budget.
“Reforming auto insurance is the number one issue in Michigan right now.The reforms approved today are a major step forward for Michiganders.
“This discussion has been going on for years and people have had different ideas as to how we would solve the issue. This legislation is a true example of bipartisan work. I’m beyond pleased that the governor worked with the Senate and the House to come up with a plan that benefits drivers in every corner of our state.”
You can read the bill in detail at: