‘Today’s reform has been a long time coming’
LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Runestad on Friday voted with his Senate colleagues and the Michigan House of Representatives to send the governor a historic measure to lower Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation auto insurance rates, a move lawmakers in Lansing have talked about for decades but until today failed to achieve.
Senate Bill 1 would reduce rates by giving Michigan drivers coverage options, cracking down on fraud and lawsuit abuse, and reducing sky-high medical costs.
“Today’s reform has been a long time coming,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “We pay much too much to insure our cars here in Michigan compared with the rest of the country. I am happy to report that relief is on its way.”
According to an October 2018 report, Michigan drivers pay the highest auto insurance rates in the country — 83% higher than the national average. A recent University of Michigan study also said that auto insurance rates are unaffordable in 97% of the state’s ZIP codes.
SB 1 would give Michigan drivers the option to choose the auto insurance coverage that is the best fit for their circumstances and will provide guaranteed rate reductions based on the choices they make.
The measure would require auto insurers to offer Michigan drivers five new personal injury protection (PIP) coverage options, including the ability of drivers with qualified medical coverage — such as health insurance or Medicare — to opt out of PIP coverage since they already have medical coverage for injuries.
The legislation would also reduce out-of-control medical costs that are passed on to drivers via higher rates, cut fraud and conflicts of interest in the auto insurance system, and reduce the announced $220 annual Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association fee by 80% for all options other than unlimited coverage.
SB 1 now heads to the governor to be signed into law.