Friday, 18 January 2019 19:57

MI Lawmakers Target No-Fault Auto Insurance Law in Push to Cut High Rates

Written by Beth LeBlanc and Jonathan Oosting, The Detroit News


The Clare Republican, who also serves as the House's speaker pro-tempore, said the effort to reform the state's auto insurance will take bipartisan support and require lawmakers to "set our differences aside."


“For each day that passes without a devised, lasting solution, Michigan families continue to be trapped between converging walls of financial hardship," Wentworth said in a statement.


Wentworth said there are no plans to introduce a House bill on no-fault auto insurance reform in the near future. Instead, he sees the committee's initial hearings as a chance for education on the issue, a deliberative process that will engage people from both sides of the aisle "to deliver rate relief to our citizens."


At this stage, auto insurance reform is not a question of "if," but "how and when," he said.


"Anybody that has an interest in a solution will have a seat at the table," Wentworth said. "I will not tolerate people that just want to come in and provide roadblock after roadblock.”


House Democratic leader Christine Greig of Farmington Hills said the bipartisan committee has the potential to "break past tradition and instead listen to drivers and community leaders" to ensure affordable insurance.


The Senate will not launch a separate committee to handle no-fault auto insurance legislation, McCann said.


Legislators have long sought to curb auto insurance costs, along with Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Gilbert has said he’ll take the issue to the ballot if lawmakers don’t act on the problem this year.


Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has long opposed changes to the lifetime medical coverage guaranteed under current law.


In 2012, Patterson was covered by worker's compensation when he suffered significant injuries in an auto accident, but the experience gave him insight into the cost of catastrophic injuries. He has continued to push back on efforts to change the lifetime medical coverage provisions.


In a last-minute lame duck push in December, lawmakers proposed legislation that would allow drivers to choose their levels of medical coverage instead of keeping a current requirement for mandatory lifetime benefits. But the effort failed as legislators ran short on time.


We thank The Detroit News for reprint permission.

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