Bills introduced to repeal Michigan's no-fault auto insurance law

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A package of bills has been introduced in Lansing to scuttle Michigan’s no-fault insurance law, replacing it with a tort system backers say could cut insurance rates by half.

“They’ve been trying to come up with a replacement for years,’’ said state Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Lambertville. “Michigan has the highest rate in the nation.’’

Sheppard is among the sponsors of several bills that would repeal Michigan’s 45-year-old no-fault insurance law. The bills are modeled after a tort system used in Ohio, where an injured driver has to sue the at-fault driver to get medical bills paid. The tort system also provides ways for those who are not at fault to recoup lost wages and other damages.

“If you look around the country, other states are moving away from no-fault,’’ Sheppard said.

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Michigan’s no-fault law has been around since 1973. It provides unlimited medical coverage for drivers injured in an auto accident no matter who is at fault. Opponents say that provision of no-fault has given Michigan the highest car insurance rates in the country.

A dozen states have no-fault insurance systems, but Michigan is the only one that mandates unlimited medical coverage. Sheppard said Florida is considering a repeal of its no-fault system.

“If you look at Ohio, drivers there are paying about half of what we have to pay,’’ he said. “I live a mile north of the border and I hear about it all the time.’’

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