Debate Over Auto Insurance Remains Front and Center in Lansing; Chamber Demands Action

October 16, 2017

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree on one thing: Michigan has the highest-in-the-nation auto insurance premiums and something must be done to drive down rates. The problem? Finding consensus on a solution that can garner the necessary 55 votes to pass a bill out of the Michigan House. 

For the Michigan Chamber, the choice for lawmakers is clear: Do you support real, cost-saving reforms that will benefit the 7.1 million licensed drivers in Michigan or do you support so-called reforms being pushed by those who benefit most from the status quo?   

The Michigan Chamber is supporting a bipartisan proposal that 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. 

Recently, competing proposals have come into the mix to create a distraction and give lawmakers opposing the bipartisan proposal (House Bill 5013) political “cover.”  The Michigan Chamber is opposed to these competing proposals for three key reasons: (1) they were written by those who profiteer from the status quo; (2) they are intended to protect the current system and its runaway costs; and (3) they fail to give drivers choice in the marketplace. 

Forty-nine other states don’t force drivers to purchase unlimited, lifetime medical benefits with their auto insurance and their premiums reflect it. Michigan drivers can no longer afford to pay over two times the national average for their auto insurance. Adding an element of choice can save drivers over $1 billion annually, making it a key ingredient in any reform package. 

The Michigan Chamber believes it's time for the legislature to stop talking and pass meaningful, cost-saving auto insurance reform this fall. 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.