Thursday, May 9, 2019

Politics get in the way of auto insurance reform in Michigan

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2019 at 12:01 PM

click to enlarge STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling

Hopes of reducing the costs of Michigan’s sky-high auto insurance have come to a political standstill.

At 2:10 a.m. Thursday, the Republican-led state House approved a broad bill that would cut insurance rates by eliminating the requirement that drivers have unlimited medical coverage in the event of a catastrophic injury. Earlier in the week, the Senate passed a version of the insurance reform bill.

But Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pledged to veto the plan because she said it’s neither “reasonable” nor “fair.”

"The governor has made it very clear that she is only interested in signing a reform bill that is reasonable, fair, and provides strong consumer protections and immediate financial relief,” Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said. “In their current form, neither bill passed by the legislature meets that standard. The governor has also been very clear that passing a budget that fixes the damn roads is her first priority."

Democrats, including Whitmer, said they oppose the bill because it allows insurance companies to continue charging more for non-driving factors such as credit scores, gender, education, and ZIP codes. Those factors are why Detroiters have the highest auto insurance rates in the country – an annual average premium of $5,414 a year – compared to $1,427 nationally. That has made it difficult for many people to afford insurance in a city with the highest poverty rate in the country.

Mayor Duggan, who has led the auto reform effort on the municipal level, plans to meet with senators to address non-driving factors that are "discriminatory."

"The House bill that passed last night is encouraging," Duggan's chief of staff Alexis Wiley said. "It should save the average Detroit driver $1,000 to $1,500 a year. The mayor still would like to see the discriminatory effects of non-driving factors like credit scores eliminated and will be working with the Senate to try to get those issues addressed equitably. The mayor deeply appreciates the hard work of legislators on both sides of the aisle over the last couple of weeks to finally solve this important issue."

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation