Statement from state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) on today’s auto insurance reform package introduction

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

LANSING — Recently, a bipartisan group of legislators in the House introduced a set of reforms that would address high auto insurance rates in Michigan while maintaining quality coverage for drivers. Today, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) introduced their own plan. In response, state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) issued the following statement:

“Earlier this month I was heartened to see the bipartisan effort made to address the prohibitively expensive cost of auto insurance here in Michigan. That plan will address rate issues without requiring drivers to make sacrifices in coverage. While I am glad to see that today's plan also was developed in a bipartisan fashion, I cannot support reforms that would reduce safety protections for our drivers, potentially shifting the financial burden of the uninsured to taxpayers. For far too long insurance companies have been able to structure rates with no transparency in an environment where consumers are legally bound to purchase auto insurance and that's not fair.  I agree that fair and affordable insurance is a civil rights issue; however, if we truly want to address rates, we must begin focusing on the discriminatory non driving factors that have been used in the calculation of auto insurance rates, allowing companies to squeeze additional dollars out of hardworking men and women across the state.

“The legislation I plan to introduce would ban these destructive and predatory practices by preventing the inclusion of factors like zip code, income, gender, educational background and credit history when calculating the cost of insurance. I applaud the mayor's ambition, but was hoping to see him address redlining which is a result of systemic racism against the city of Detroit and urban communities. Moving forward, I believe to truly advance a viable package we must take a bicameral and bipartisan approach. I am optimistic about the senior relief component within both packages, allowing seniors with lifetime retirement healthcare, and Medicare to use these components as a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) option. However, it is important for us to also create and have inclusion in a Fraud Authority to minimize unnecessary litigation and ensure MCCA transparency. I remain hopeful that we are able to take this same spirit of cooperation to reach out across the aisle and develop a plan that will truly help provide financial relief without jeopardizing Michigan drivers.”