GUEST EDITORIAL: Time to fix broken auto insurance system

Michigan House Republicans are making another attempt to overhaul the state’s auto insurance system, a move that already is facing opposition from special interest groups impacted by the changes.

But that doesn’t mean reform is not long overdue.

Everyone who pays for auto insurance in Michigan knows that premiums have become too expensive, in large part because Michigan provides unlimited medical benefits for catastrophic injuries and rehabilitation — the only state in the nation to offer such exorbitant benefits. That coverage alone costs Michigan motorists $186 per vehicle per year, if they can afford the insurance in the first place. And that’s part of the problem — many people in Michigan simply cannot afford the cost of auto insurance anymore and roll the dice hoping they will not be caught by law enforcement authorities.?House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, said the new GOP proposal would require insurance companies to drop premiums by at least 10 percent for two years. Most motorists would purchase $10 million in coverage for personal injury protection, rather than the unlimited coverage. Bolger pointed out the $10 million in coverage still is 200 times more than any other state and 10 times more than last year’s proposal of $1 million that stalled in the House. For low income drivers, a less expensive policy that offers up to $50,000 in medical expenses would be available.

Bolger said changes were made in the new proposal to respond to criticisms of last year’s reform plan. But critics already are finding reasons to oppose the new proposal.

The House Republican plan might not be perfect, and might need some changes, but Michigan lawmakers need to stand up to critics and get something done this year in terms of auto insurance reform. The current system is broken and needs to be fixed.


This editorial originally was published in the March 5 edition of the Midland Daily News.


Posted by Tribune News Services

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