LANSING — A bipartisan coalition of Michigan legislators introduced a package of bills aimed at reforming the state’s auto insurance system and lowering costs for Michigan residents last week. A plan for Fair and Affordable No Fault Reform, the 15-bill package takes on the high cost of auto insurance by directly addressing the causes of increased costs for Michigan drivers: unprosecuted fraud, high medical reimbursements, system inefficiencies, high litigation rates, and a lack of consumer protection. The reforms included in the Fair and Affordable No Fault Reform package will reduce drivers’ auto insurance rates without reducing their coverage and benefits.
“Good government is about making sound policy, and that includes reform,” said state Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township). “Our current system is unsustainable. I am committed to a bipartisan solution that protects consumers and maintains care for catastrophically injured auto accident victims, but also takes out the waste, fraud, and litigation that is keeping auto insurance rates unreasonably high.”
The bipartisan group introducing the package spent several months gathering input from medical professionals, insurance providers, accident victims and other key stakeholders to shape the legislation.
“Michigan’s drivers and accident victims deserve our best effort toward reforms which address rising costs and abuses while preserving essential benefits,” said state Rep. Ben Fredrick (R-Owosso). “My hope is that the many ideas which are being brought forward help to allow for a constructive solution to this longstanding debate.”
House Bills 5101-5111, 5115, 5124, 4049 and 4672 contain provisions to improve the current auto no-fault system while lowering costs for drivers and preserving benefits to accident victims. Changes include establishing a fraud authority, stopping non-driving factors, such as gender, marital status, zip code, education level or credit score, from unfairly and improperly impacting auto insurance rates, allowing seniors with Medicare or other full medical coverage the option to save money by purchasing only long-term and rehabilitation PIP coverage, and ensuring that patients no longer have to face financial hardships caused by requiring insurers to pre-authorize their treatment.
“The system as it stands is simply unsustainable,” said state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit). “Too many people in this state are forced to choose between paying cripplingly high rates, or risk driving uninsured. The package we’ve introduced addresses the worst aspects of the system, tackling components that we know must be reformed to truly improve our auto insurance system for all drivers. I’m encouraged by this bipartisan effort, and I hope that the rest of my colleagues in the House will join us in supporting this legislation and give it a fair hearing.”