Duggan: Detroit's high auto insurance rates are 'completely immoral'

Sep 25, 2015 at 12:10 pm

One major problem with the whole "Millennials are flocking to Detroit because of the cheap rent" narrative is the glaring fact that Detroit has A) the highest insurance premiums in the nation and B) public transportation here is basically non-existent.

It's a problem that Mayor Mike Duggan has resolved to fix, proposing a city-sponsored "D-Insurance" plan during his State of the City address last year. However, in recent months the plan has stalled in the legislature — and Duggan is pissed.

On Wednesday, the mayor voiced frustrations with the opposition to plan, issuing some of his most pointed comments on the issue to date while speaking before the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists at the St. Regis Hotel in the New Center neighborhood.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Duggan put much of the blame on the health care industry, which charge exorbitant prices for services covered by the unlimited lifetime medical benefits to accident victims under the state's no-fault insurance law.

“What is happening today is completely immoral," said Duggan, who previously served as chief of the Detroit Medical Center. "They know that it's immoral. And yet they’re still fighting it.”

The Free Press report continues:

Those fighting the insurance plan, Duggan suggested, are only doing so because of campaign donations from the health care lobby.

He said the current situation leaves Detroiters with two options: pay exorbitant rates or drive without insurance, which makes them criminals.

“There’s no logic to this at all,” he said. “This is going to get ugly before it’s over, but we’re going to prevail.”

(Duggan forgot one option, though. Another reason cited for the higher premiums is the increased risk of theft in Detroit. Anecdotally, I know more than a few young New Detroiters who circumvent this problem by registering their cars with, say, their parents' address out in the 'burbs.)