Proposed no-fault reform would include letting drivers choose level of insurance

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers are trying to reduce the price of car insurance in Michigan

Michigan is the most expensive state in the nation when it comes to car insurance. Now, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers is trying to cut the cost of coverage. They held a news conference Tuesday morning, Sept. 26 in Lansing to announce new legislation aimed at reducing the price of Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance.

"The system is broken, it's unsustainable and it absolutely has to be fixed," said Rep.Lana Theis, a Republican from Brighton.

The plan includes letting people choose their level of auto insurance. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan used an example of an insurance bill, where the person’s 6-month premium was $2066. "There are two lines on your bill that are going to be reduced. PIP, which is personal injury protection. And MCCA which is catastrophic coverage. For the average driver, those rates go down by 40 percent guaranteed in the statute." According to Duggan’s example, the annual savings would be $604 per year, which is an overall 15% savings.

The plan would include a fee schedule for medical providers. Rick Studley, President of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce referred to a chart. It shows at CT Scan costing $770 on private insurance and $3250 on no fault. "This overcharging is unfair and has to stop," he said. 

The plan would also crack down on fraud and abuse. And let seniors opt out. "We have a chance to do something really important," said Studley.

But it's not the only plan out there. Another bipartisan batch of legislation is in the works and it's supported by the non-profit group ‘Coalition Protecting No Fault.’

"What the Mayor [Duggan] proposed today unfortunately reduces the cost on the backs of Michigan's most seriously injured. People who are paralyzed, or have brain injuries. We don't think that's fair,” says CPAN Spokesperson Josh Hovey.

Hovey also says the latest legislation doesn't address rating factors for drivers. "We think what's missing is consumer protection. Right now, insurance charges women more, they are charging the working class more.  They charge more based on credit score, not driving ability."

CPAN agrees that there needs to be fee schedules and less fraud. It also says it's willing to support the idea of letting seniors opt out since they're already covered on their retirement and Medicare plans.

“We want to work with everybody”, says Duggan.

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