By Scott Bolthouse The Huron Hub ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com Posted May 9, 2019 – 11:00 a.m. EST Updated 12:30 p.m.
The Michigan House voted early Thursday morning to approve an auto insurance reform bill that would no longer require drivers to buy unlimited medical benefits through their car insurer to cover crash injuries, which according to supporters of the bill, would reduce insurance premiums.
The vote was brought before the House and was passed at 2 a.m.
The bill, which passed 61-49 mostly along party-lines, would give motorists the option to waive mandatory unlimited personal injury protection, a requirement only in Michigan.
According to the Associated Press, insurers would have to cut PIP rates, for five years, by between 10% and 100%, depending on the coverage chosen. That could equal an estimated $120 and $1,200 in savings for someone paying $2,400 annually per car, assuming the PIP fee accounts for half their bill, according to Republicans’ projections.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement that she is against the reform bill.
Whitmer, according to WXYZ, said she “is only interested in signing a reform bill that is reasonable, fair and provides strong consumer protections and immediate financial relief. In their current form, neither bill passed by the legislature meets that standard.”
State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) responded to the passed bill in a statement Thursday morning.
“Downriver families need real rate relief, but this proposal is nothing more than a giveaway to insurance companies. Republican leadership fast-tracked this bill without public input or bipartisan support, sacrificing quality coverage for our families with no guarantees of long-term rate reductions. Michiganders deserve a bipartisan solution that works for their families, not big insurance companies,” he said.
Michigan’s auto insurance industry is one of the least regulated in the U.S. with Michigan drivers paying nearly two-times more than drivers anywhere else in the nation, Camilleri said, citing a University of Michigan study.