To Advertise with Us:

Michigan Senate OK’s sweeping auto insurance reform plan

Lansing — Michigan’s Republican-led Senate on Tuesday unveiled and quickly approved a sweeping no-fault auto insurance reform plan supporters say could significantly reduce rates that rank among the highest in the nation.

The proposal would end a long-standing requirement that Michigan auto insurance policies guarantee unlimited lifetime medical coverage for injured motorists. It would also mandate lower reimbursement rates for hospitals and other medical providers.

Most Democrats voted against the plan because it would not force insurers to cut premiums or prohibit them from using non–driving factors such as IP codes to set rates, a practice critics contend contributes to sky-high rates in cities like Detroit. Under the proposal, insurers could still offer policies with unlimited medical coverage, but they’d be unlikely to do so because the state would end liability for and eventually dissolve the reinsurance program that helps pay the most expensive claims.

Instead, drivers with private or public health insurance plans that cover vehicle accident injuries could choose to waive any personal injury protection in their auto plan.Motorists could also choose auto plans with as little as $50,000 in personal injury protection that would also cover up to $200,000 for immediate hospital needs. Another option would include up to $250,000 of personal injury protection.

The legislation would empower Michigan residents “to choose the level of coverage that fits their budget and their needs, instead of having the state dictate to them what level of coverage they are required to have,” said sponsoring Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton.

The current system is in a “death spiral,” he said, with higher rates make it increasingly impossible for residents to afford required auto insurance, and fewer insured motorists leading to higher rates.

Nesbitt estimates residents with health insurance could save up to 46% by opting out of personal injury protection coverage on their auto policies. Motorists who choose auto policies with $250,000 in medical coverage could save at least 15% over unlimited plans, he said.

At the least, motorists would save an estimated $180 in annual Michigan Catastrophic Clams Association fee reductions. The fee, set to rise to $220 in July, would instead be reduced to roughly $40 when the reinsurance program is effectively closed to future claims, according to Senate Republicans.

But Democrats blasted the proposal for failing to mandate insurer rate reductions. The GOP majority rejected an amendment proposed by Sen. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor, that would have mandated insurers pass along savings to motorists by cutting premiums at least 50%.

Republicans are “simply guessing” about the impact on motorists and “made up” the savings estimates they cited Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, told reporters after the vote.

“There’s an old saying… ‘You can take a crap in one hand and hope in another and see which one fills up first,'” he said. “If you think the insurance companies are going to give you rate reductions, we wanted to mandate it today.” The proposal passed the Senate in a 24-14 vote and now heads to the Republican-led House, where a special committee on auto insurance rate reduction has also been exploring potential reforms.

“We are going to combine our findings with the Senate’s plan and use the ideas we believe create the best way forward for all Michigan drivers,” said Rep. Jason Wentworth, a Clare Republican who chairs the committee, in a statement.

Process Protest:

While lawmakers debated potential reforms for months, Republicans unveiled the new plan in the Senate Insurance and Banking Committee shortly before a panel vote and roughly four hours before a floor vote in the full chamber. It gave the public and interested parties little time to digest details of the 79-page policy bill.

But the panel had already heard “many, many, many hours of testimony” over intent legislation introduced earlier this year, said Sen. Lana Theis, a Brighton Republican who chairs the committee.“The concepts have been reviewed over and over and over again,” she said, referencing proposals from past sessions. The vast majority of voters she talked to on the campaign trail in 2018 wanted immediate action to cut premiums, she added.

“They said, ‘We’re done. We’re hurting. Please fix this.'”Geiss, the ranking Democrat on the Senate committee, criticized the quick action on a proposal many lawmakers saw for the first time the previous night. “This is so meaty, and so weighty, and impacts every single driving Michigander, that we should not have rushed it like this,” she said. “It was completely irresponsible to do that, and not fair to our residents.”

The proposal seeks to control medical costs by creating a fee schedule for providers, who could only charge insurers at rates mandated under worker’s compensation. In-home attendant care by family members would be limited to 56 hours per week. The plan also attempts to curb what Nesbitt called “attorney lawsuit abuse” through measures that include tougher rules prohibiting attorneys from soliciting clients within 30 days of a crash. A second bill sponsored by Theis would require lawsuits involving auto injuries to be filed in the same county as the crash, an attempt to curb “venue shopping” by attorneys.

The legislation would require the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to provide a driver rebate, through insurers, if its assets cover more than 120 percent of liabilities. The MCCA imposes an annual fee passed on to motorists to reimburse insurers for unlimited medical expenses.

The proposal would create a new auto insurance task force under the Michigan State Police that would include the Department of Insurance and Financial Services and the Attorney General’s Office.

Democrats divided:

Sens. Adam Hollier and Sylvia Santana of Detroit broke ranks with other Democrats to vote for the reform plan, joining all 22 Republicans in support.
“The reality is the majority of people who I live near have already opted out because they aren’t buying auto insurance, can’t afford to buy auto insurance,” Hollier said in a floor speech, arguing the plan is not perfect but could provide relief.Republicans approved a Hollier amendment that would prohibit insurers from refusing or limiting coverage for consumers based on where they live. But the proposal did not ban pricing based on ZIP code, and Geiss called it a “hollow” attempt to address so-called redlining.

The GOP majority rejected an amendment by Sen. Marshall Bullock, D-Detroit, that would have linked the legislation to a separate plan that would prohibit insurers from using any non–driving factors to set rates. Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, voted for the reform plan and said he is concerned that high premiums are encouraging motorists to break the law by driving without coverage.

“If we do nothing, we will sentence these people to a lifetime of struggling without insurance from here to eternity,” he said.Reducing medical coverage guarantees for injured motorists would likely increase state Medicaid costs. The non-partisan Senate Fiscal Agency projects that in a decade annual Michigan Medicaid costs would be $65.9 million higher than they are now if the legislation were signed into law.

The plan could also cost the state up to $15 million a year in reduced revenue from an existing 1.25% insurance premium tax, according to the agency. “This is all about foisting the liability on the backs of insurance companies onto the back of the Medicaid program where people will get worse care and the taxpayers will fund it,” argued Sen.

Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor.

A third bill advanced Tuesday morning would expand the state’s racketeering law to include insurance fraud. A pattern of insurance fraud for financial gain could be prosecuted as a 20-year felony, plus a fine of up to $100,000 and legal fees.

Mixed Reaction:

Yearly auto insurance premiums in Michigan average $2,693, the highest rate in the nation, according to 2019 rankings compiled by The Zebra, an insurance search engine and industry research firm. Detroit is the easily the most expensive city in the country for auto insurance, with rates more than double the state average.

Auto insurance rates are “unaffordable” by federal standards in 97%of all Michigan ZIP codes, according to a recent analysis by researchers at the University of Michigan. In Detroit, average premiums cost between 12% and 36% of residents’ pre-tax income in almost every ZIP code.

Lawmakers have debated auto insurance reforms for years, but past efforts have stalled amid intense fights involving the powerful insurance, hospital and trial lawyer lobbies.Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, have both called auto insurance reform a top priority this session. Michigan Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rich Studley praised the Senate for taking “bold action to drive down Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation car insurance rates and reform the system to make Michigan more competitive with other

But Michigan Health and Hospitals Association CEO Brian Peterson called it a “shocking step back” for the reform debate. “Instead of holding insurers accountable for discriminatory rate setting and lowering rates, Senate Bill 1 limits coverage and asks drivers to simply trust the insurance companies,” Peters said in a statement. “Accident victims lose, drivers lose and healthcare providers lose.”

The Insurance Alliance of Michigan did not immediately respond to a request for comment but has generally supported personal injury protection “choice” proposals. The Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault urged supporters to write their legislators ahead of Tuesday’s vote, arguing the
Senate GOP plan “would gut protections for auto accident survivors” and “amounts to a giveaway to the auto insurance industry.”

Show More

Related Articles


  1. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually
    enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to
    your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  2. Just desire to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post is just
    nice and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.

    Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up
    to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue
    the gratifying work.

  3. We stumbled over here coming from a different
    web address and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward
    to exploring your web page repeatedly.

  4. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs
    I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always helpful to
    read through content from other authors and use a
    little something from other web sites.

  5. Good day very cool site!! Man .. Beautiful ..
    Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally?

    I am satisfied to find numerous helpful information right
    here within the publish, we’d like work out extra strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.
    . . . . .

  6. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be
    happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or advice.

    Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read even more things about it!

  7. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it
    seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.

    You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site
    when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  8. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve really
    enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be
    subscribing in your rss feed and I’m hoping you write once more very

  9. Excellent article. Keep posting such kind of information on your page.
    Im really impressed by it.
    Hi there, You have performed a great job. I’ll certainly digg it and individually
    recommend to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  10. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after going through a few of the articles
    I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly delighted I
    found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  11. Hello are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but
    I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  12. Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend
    your website, how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a
    acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

  13. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I
    could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was
    hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.

    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  14. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality
    writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one today.

  15. Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  16. It’s actually a great and helpful piece of
    information. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with
    us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account
    it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  18. Hey very cool web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also?KI’m happy to seek out numerous helpful info here in the submit, we want develop extra techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  19. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

  20. Hi, Neat post. There is a problem together with your site in web explorer, may test
    this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a huge component of folks
    will omit your excellent writing due to this problem.

  21. First of all I want to say wonderful blog!
    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your
    mind prior to writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
    I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or
    tips? Appreciate it!

  22. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything.
    But think about if you added some great photos or videos
    to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this website could certainly be one of
    the best in its niche. Good blog!

  23. Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What a perfect web-site.

  24. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Genuinely rarely should i encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail for the head. Your thought is outstanding; ab muscles an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I will be delighted i always came across this at my find something concerning this.

  25. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.I
    will make certain to bookmark your blog and may come back in the
    future. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great posts,
    have a nice afternoon!

  26. Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossip and internet stuff and this is actually irritating. A good web site with interesting content, that is what I need. Thanks for making this site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  27. After looking into a number of the blog articles on your site,
    I seriously like your technique of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark
    webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site too and let me know your opinion.

  28. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Today bloggers publish only about gossip and web stuff and this is actually irritating. A good site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thank you for making this site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  29. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to
    make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence
    on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  30. Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i
    was just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments?

    If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  31. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is
    rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.

  32. Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your website is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What a perfect web site.

  33. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  34. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need
    some advice from an established blog. Is it very hard
    to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure
    things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you
    have any points or suggestions? Thank you

  35. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is
    written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem.
    You’re amazing! Thanks!

  36. Right here is the right website for anybody who would like to find out about
    this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not
    that I really would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that has been discussed for many years.
    Great stuff, just excellent!

  37. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading
    it, you will be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog
    and will eventually come back down the road.
    I want to encourage you to continue your great job, have a
    nice morning!

  38. When I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added-
    checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact
    same comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

  39. Excellent weblog right here! Additionally your website rather a lot up fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink in your host?
    I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  40. Fantastic post however I was wondering if you could write a litte
    more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further.

    Many thanks!

  41. hello!,I like your writing very much! share we communicate more about your article on AOL? I need an expert on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

  42. I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  43. Hi, Neat post. There is a problem together with your web site in web explorer, would check this?K IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a big component to other folks will omit your great writing due to this problem.

  44. Just wanna comment on few general things, The website layout is perfect, the written content is really good. “In business school classrooms they construct wonderful models of a nonworld.” by Peter Drucker.

  45. you are really a just right webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible.
    It seems that you’re doing any unique trick.
    In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve performed
    a wonderful activity on this matter!

  46. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the net the simplest thing to be
    aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out
    the whole thing without having side-effects ,
    people could take a signal. Will probably be back
    to get more. Thanks

  47. Hi would you mind letting me know which hosting company
    you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers and I
    must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good web
    hosting provider at a fair price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  48. Hiya! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4.

    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue.
    If you have any recommendations, please share.

  49. Hiya! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that
    might be able to correct this issue. If you have any suggestions,
    please share. Cheers!

  50. I precisely desired to appreciate you once more. I’m not certain the things that I would’ve made to happen without the actual aspects provided by you over that topic. It absolutely was a very horrifying issue in my position, but witnessing this professional way you resolved the issue made me to leap over happiness. Extremely thankful for this service and hope that you really know what a powerful job you are getting into teaching people today with the aid of your web page. Probably you haven’t come across all of us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button