Chamber Takes Leadership Role in Push to Reign in Auto Insurance Premiums

October 8, 2017

Efforts are heating up in Lansing to drive down the high cost of auto insurance in Michigan and the Chamber is taking a leadership role on the issue. Last week, the Chamber testified before a House Committee in support of the changes being pushed by House Speaker Tom Leonard and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. 

Given Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation auto insurance premiums, the Chamber is advocating for the legislature to make meaningful auto insurance reform a top priority for the fall legislative session. 

The bipartisan proposal (HB 5013) supported by the Chamber would allow drivers to choose between three levels of personal injury protection (PIP) benefits - including the current unlimited amount - and tie medical provider fees to Medicare rates. It would also require insurers to reduce PIP premiums by 40% for five years for people who choose the lowest option of PIP coverage. This would amount to approximately 20% savings on the total premium. 

For companies insuring vehicles for business purposes, commercial or otherwise, this bill would allow them to choose the lowest level of PIP coverage as drivers injured in auto accidents while on the job are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, meaning PIP coverage is redundant. This legislation could translate into significant savings for businesses purchasing auto insurance, especially those insuring commercial fleets of vehicles. 

This issue is also closely intertwined with Michigan’s talent shortage. Transportation is among the top issues cited as major impediment to individuals securing work. Even if a current or prospective employee can afford to purchase a vehicle and fuel it, it doesn’t guarantee he or she will be able to afford Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation auto insurance premiums.  Driving down the cost of auto insurance can help break down employment barriers to get the unemployed back to work. 

If you or your company would like more information or to get involved in advocating for reform, please contact Wendy Block at wblock@michamber.com.