Rep. VanderWall calls proposal to lower auto insurance rates step in right direction

September 27, 2017

Rep. Curt VanderWall

Rep. VanderWall calls proposal to lower auto insurance rates step in right direction

Plan gives drivers greater choice and relief from nation’s highest costs

LANSING — State Rep. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) attended the announcement Tuesday, Sept. 26, of a bipartisan coalition to reform Michigan’s broken auto no-fault insurance system and dramatically cut costs for drivers.

VanderWall is reviewing legislation introduced that will lower the cost of auto insurance in Michigan – which now has the highest rates in the nation – by offering motorists more coverage options, fighting fraud and reining in medical costs.

“Everywhere I go in northern Michigan, people tell me the same thing – auto insurance costs far too much. We lead the nation in auto insurance costs, and that’s the sort of thing you don’t want to be No. 1 in,” said VanderWall, who is the representative of Michigan’s 101st House District, which includes Mason, Manistee, Benzie, and Leelanau counties. “We’ve heard these concerns loud and clear, and we’re committed to doing something about it. This proposal is a first step as we work toward lower insurance costs for drivers in Michigan.”

Michigan’s average full coverage auto insurance premium cost – nearly $2,400 per year – is more than $1,000 above the national average and twice as high as those in neighboring states.

The new bipartisan plan continues benefits for Michiganders already receiving lifetime health care after a catastrophic traffic accident. The plan also gives motorists the option to continue to buy unlimited personal injury protection coverage, or buy more affordable alternative coverage plans.

The legislation:

  • Provides a guaranteed rate reduction for drivers who choose certain coverage plans alternative to the unlimited plan;
  • Gives individuals the choice on the extent of PIP coverage as part of their auto insurance. Choice levels include $250,000, $500,000 or unlimited;
  • Allows seniors age 62 or older with lifetime health care benefits the option to opt out of PIP coverage to avoid the current double taxation;
  • Establishes fee schedules and attendant care limits to lower medical costs related to auto injuries;
  • Helps the state ensure insurance companies are complying with state law, and creates a fraud authority to address fraudulent claims;
  • Provides a state review of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) to make sure motorists are not overpaying for insurance; and
  • Addresses attorney fee costs and unfounded lawsuits while eliminating attorney conflict of interests with medical providers.

VanderWall is vice chair of the House Insurance Committee, which will take up the legislation for further review.

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