MacDonald supports historic auto insurance reform

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald on Friday voted to send the governor a bipartisan agreement to guarantee lower auto insurance rates in Michigan.

“Our long car insurance nightmare is nearly over,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “Michigan’s sky-high auto insurance rates and their impact on families and job providers to make ends meet is one of the most common issues I hear about from Macomb County families.

“I proudly supported bipartisan reform to address this problem and finally reduce car insurance rates in Michigan while allowing drivers to choose the option that fits the individual needs of their families.”

According to an October 2018 report, Michigan drivers pay the highest auto insurance rates in the country — 83% higher than the national average.

Senate Bill 1 would require auto insurers to offer Michigan drivers five new personal injury protection (PIP) coverage options, including the ability of drivers with qualified medical coverage — such as employer health insurance or Medicare — to opt out of PIP coverage since they already have medical coverage for injuries.

Drivers would also be able to choose an unlimited coverage option like what is currently required, but with a minimum 10% PIP rate reduction.

“This comprehensive reform will fix a broken auto insurance system that is failing Michigan families and provide a real solution that reduces the outrageous car insurance costs facing drivers in our state,” MacDonald said. “This is a historic change that will guarantee reduced rates, crack down on fraud and lawsuit abuse, and give drivers the ability to pick the insurance coverage that fits them — for the first time in almost two generations.”

SB 1 would also ban the use of several nondriving factors in setting insurance rates, reduce fraud and conflicts of interest in the auto insurance system and cut the announced $220 annual Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) fee by 80% for all options other than unlimited coverage.

People already receiving care through the MCCA will continue to get lifetime care under their current unlimited benefit policy as promised.