Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced that Michigan’s auto insurer rate filings approved by DIFS will provide savings to Michigan’s drivers, that not only equal, but exceed, the law’s required reductions of average statewide per vehicle premiums. In its review, DIFS rejected Personal Injury Protection (PIP) filings that used any rating factors not permitted under the new law, such as sex, marital status, home ownership, or zip code, requiring companies to resubmit each filing with prohibited factors removed. For the first time, all filed rates were reviewed by outside independent actuaries to confirm compliance with the law.
“This is great news for Michigan drivers and their families,” said Governor Whitmer. “Last year, we worked across the aisle to pass a historic, bipartisan auto insurance reform to bring down costs for drivers everywhere. It’s great to see that it’s paying off for Michiganders, especially during a time when drivers may need extra money in their pockets. I look forward to continue working across the aisle to ensure lower rates for Michiganders.”
Under the new auto insurance law, which takes effect for policies that issue or renew after July 1, 2020, Michigan drivers will now have a choice in the amount of PIP medical coverage to purchase on their policy. These choices equal or exceed the highest benefits in the country, and Michigan is the only state where unlimited PIP medical continues to be an option.
PIP Medical coverage pays allowable expenses for medical care, recovery, rehabilitation, and some funeral expenses, and typically represents almost half of an individual driver’s premium. Even when adjusted for statutory increases in Bodily Injury coverage (BI), the filings continue to show savings better that what the law required. Pursuant to the new law, rate reductions are shown as statewide averages and are required for eight years. Auto insurance premiums are very individual to each consumer and may vary based upon such things as driving record, miles driven, and coverages selected.
As of April 24, 2020, the initial six filings approved represent a quarter of Michigan’s auto insurance market. The aggregated data shows that the average, statewide PIP medical reductions exceeding the statutory requirements as follows.
|Mandated Reduction||Avg. Reduction|
|Unlimited||At least -10%||-16.5%|
|$500,000||At least -20%||-36.3%|
|$250,000||At least -35%||-41.9%|
|$50,000||At least -45%||
Early on, there were concerns raised in the media that PIP Medical reductions would be negated by statutory increases in BI Coverage limits, but that is not the case:
“These filings show statewide savings exceeding the law’s requirement at each PIP coverage level,” said DIFS Director, Anita Fox. “Michiganders can also choose a coverage that best fits their family’s needs and budget, and can expect savings for each option.”
DIFS continues to operate its dedicated, no-fault hotline with calls being answered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Drivers can also call 833-ASK-DIFS (275-3437), email at email@example.com, or visit: www.michigan.gov/autoinsurance for more details on changes to the law, a schedule of weekly town halls, and instructional videos on how to fill out new forms.