LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Kevin Daley during a special session on Friday supported the agreement between the Legislature and administration to reduce Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation auto insurance rates.
“The current system is failing Michigan families,” Daley said. “Thousands of Michiganders have been priced out of driving, and thousands more risk driving without insurance.”
Michigan drivers pay up to 83% higher than the national average and a recent study showed that auto insurance is not affordable in 97% of the state’s ZIP codes.
Under the current no-fault law, all motorists in the state are legally required to carry unlimited, one-size-fits-all PIP coverage. Senate Bill 1 would give policyholders the choice to select coverage that best meets their needs and budget. The plan would give seniors with Medicare and individuals with private health insurance the option of having those benefits cover health care expenses stemming from an auto accident.
The plan would also require insurers to offer Michigan drivers five new PIP coverage options, which will guarantee varying degrees of rate reduction.
The bill also bans insurance companies from using several nondriving factors in setting their rates and seeks to crack down on unnecessary medical treatments; reduces the system’s susceptibility to lawsuits, fraud and conflicts of interest; and cuts down on the number of uninsured drivers through more affordable rates.
“No one is questioning the quality of the benefits provided by the no-fault system, but requiring families who can’t afford to do so to purchase the most expensive, highest care package isn’t the answer,” Daley said. “This requirement has caused families to make some really tough choices. People need to have options based on what they can afford. Today’s action will give people a choice for the first time in nearly 50 years.”
SB 1 was approved by both the House and Senate with bipartisan support and will now move to the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for final approval.