Legislators working to reduce MI auto insurance rates

Michigan 105th District State Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) continued his battle to bring lower car insurance prices to Michigan families this week by working with House colleagues in voting to approve a plan reforming Michigan’s broken no-fault system.

The plan guarantees lower rates for all drivers in Michigan, who now pay the highest average car insurance premiums in the nation – twice as high as drivers in neighboring states like Ohio. The bill offers personal injury coverage options, fights fraud and abuse and addresses medical costs.

“The current system is failing Michigan families, leaving many struggling to afford the sky-high rates we’re forced to pay for car insurance,” Cole, of Mancelona, said after casting his pivotal vote in favor of the legislation. “I made a commitment to constituents before I was elected, and I’m pleased to follow through with a plan that helps people of all ages – seniors, families and young people – along with every business that utilizes company vehicles registered in our state. This solution will move Michigan forward.”

Michigan is the only state to mandate unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The plan approved today allows people currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – while providing more affordable options.

The plan:

  • Guarantees lower rates on the personal injury protection (PIP) portion of policies. It would result in a 10-percent reduction of PIP costs for drivers who buy unlimited coverage, a 30-percent drop for drivers choosing $500,000, a 60-percent reduction for drivers purchasing $250,000, and an 80-percent drop at the $50,000 coverage level;
  • Allows seniors with retiree health coverage such as Medicare, and those with health insurance policies that cover car accident-related injuries, to opt out of PIP coverage;
  • Establishes fee schedules to end the practice of medical facilities charging far more to treat car crash victims than other patients;
  • Cracks down on fraud and abuse by creating a fraud task force;
  • Provides more financial oversight of and transparency within the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association;
  • Sets reasonable limits on compensation for attendant care contracts; and
  • Helps the state ensure insurance companies charge fair rates, while addressing attorney fee settlements and significantly reducing litigation.

As majority floor leader, Cole has played a crucial role over the last 16 weeks helping gather the votes needed to pass the legislation through the House.

“This is a historic accomplishment,” Cole said. “Something that has eluded the Michigan Legislature for 30 years is finally becoming a reality. I am proud to be a part of this as a member of the 100th Legislature.”

The sweeping legislation now advances to the Senate for consideration.

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