Detroit Caucus Members Stand for Fair and Affordable Insurance
DETROIT — A week removed from the contentious House Bill 5013 vote, the majority of Detroit Caucus members stand unified in their opposition to the legislation, which would have reduced rates for drivers only if they agreed to large reductions in coverage as well. They reiterated their position today, calling for the conversation on no-fault to continue.
“The failure of HB 5013 symbolized a bipartisan agreement that more needed to be done, and that different issues needed to be addressed,” said state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit), Detroit Caucus chairwoman. “The majority of this caucus stood firm to protect our families, children and seniors, as we know they should all have access to quality medical care in the event of a catastrophic accident. The bipartisan Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform plan that we support would address the factors that truly influence rates, including HB 5111, to remove redlining and non-driving factors, yet it still has not received a hearing in committee. I trust Speaker Tom Leonard to honor his commitment to reducing rates for Michigan drivers, and to stand with us in the call to move this new package forward.”
“I was proud to vote against HB 5013, as I know the people of my district recognized that it would have been a bad deal for them,” said state Rep. LaTanya Garrett (D-Detroit). “Among its many flaws, HB 5013 did not adequately address the unfair redlining practices that currently exist, and its attempt to drastically limit an injured citizen’s right to sue was totally unacceptable. I could not in good conscience vote for a bill that would have both eliminated lifetime benefits for children, as well as jeopardized the success of our Detroit Medical Center (DMC). There is a better plan available, and as a servant to my constituents, I know the conversation on insurance reform must continue.”
The Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform package endorsed by many Detroit Caucus members would aim to address factors influencing rates without asking drivers to sacrifice coverage. The package focuses on:
- Reducing costs for seniors by allowing those who are 62 and older to waive coverage for personal protection insurance benefits if they choose to instead rely on Medicare and lifetime retirement health care.
- Cracking down on fraud by creating a Fraud Authority board, with most of its members representing consumers.
- Increasing the amount of time an auto accident survivor has to file a claim from one year to three years.
- Prohibiting the use of discriminatory rating factors — including ZIP codes, gender, education, marital status and credit score — because we all know that these factors have nothing to do with a person’s ability to drive safely.
- Increasing transparency in how rates are set so that drivers know why they are paying certain amounts for insurance.
- Promoting coordinated coverage by offering a discount for those who coordinate their auto insurance with their health insurance.
“I could not support HB 5013 because I am committed, first and foremost, to the people of Detroit, and that bill would have done nothing to help them,” said state Rep. Fred Durhal III (D-Detroit). “That so-called reform plan would have forced families who agreed to reduced coverage into bankruptcy in the event of tragedy, and stripped families of their ability to seek justice when injured at the hands of drunken or distracted drivers. That is not what the hardworking men and women of this state deserve.”
“I proudly stand by my vote to protect Detroiters and Michiganders in their greatest time of need,” said state Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit). “We need real reforms that actually guarantee lower rates, protect patients and address territorial rating. I am committed to working with my colleagues to advance bipartisan legislation that promotes fairness and affordability, so it is my hope that the Fair and Affordable plan receives a hearing soon.”