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Wednesday, 22 May 2019 16:24

Ionia County, MI, Legislators' Share Thoughts on Auto Insurance Reform

Written by Elisabeth Waldon, Daily News
From left to right, Sen. John Bizon, R-Battle Creek, Rep. Julie Calley, R-Portland, and Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, spoke about auto insurance reform during Thursday’s Ionia County Republican Party meeting. From left to right, Sen. John Bizon, R-Battle Creek, Rep. Julie Calley, R-Portland, and Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, spoke about auto insurance reform during Thursday’s Ionia County Republican Party meeting. Courtesy of Daily News / Elisabeth Waldon

Index

Bizon said the House and Senate are close to reaching an agreement: “This is the closest that we’ve ever been.” 

 

“There are still some changes that I’d love to see,” Bizon said. “I don’t think this is our very best product when it comes to making it as cheap as possible, but in politics, it’s the art of possible rather than the art of what is actually best. If we make further changes, the concern is that there are a number of people on the House side that would not be willing to go along with us."

 

“Your real question is, how close are we to getting the governor something to sign?” Bizon cautioned. “We had caucus together on May 16 and we’re trying hard to make sure that we have something she can sign, but by the same token, we aren’t willing to give up your savings in this program. Some of the things that she is requesting is going to affect your rates. I would anticipate that no matter what we send to her, she’s going to have the option of vetoing it and then she can explain to you why she did it.”

 

RED-LINING

 

Albert addressed concerns about red-lining, the practice of refusing a loan or insurance to someone, because they live in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk.

 

“What that means is they’ll claim the use of non-driving factors to set someone’s auto rate is unfair, which it can be if it’s done in the wrong way,” Albert said. “They’ll say your zip code shouldn’t determine what your rate is, your gender shouldn’t determine what your rate is. So one thing we added in this bill, which differentiates us from the Senate, is a specifying statute that auto insurers are not able to use factors that cannot reasonably be explained. They have to explain it to DIFS (the Department of Insurance & Financial Services), which is the insurance regulator in the state of Michigan which is run by the governor."


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