Sen. VanderWall supports reform to reduce auto insurance rates

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Curt VanderWall on Tuesday voted to support Senate legislation to reduce auto insurance rates in Michigan by providing drivers more coverage choices, cracking down on fraud and lawsuit abuse, and reducing inflated medical costs.

“Michigan’s extreme auto insurance rates place heavy burdens on too many families,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “This measure will provide much-needed relief for drivers.

“Since being elected, this has become the number one issue I hear about in the district and throughout the state. I am excited we have passed a bill that will give true rate savings to our hardworking families and residents of all ages.”

According to an October 2018 report, Michigan drivers pay the highest auto insurance rates in the country — 83% higher than the national average. A recent University of Michigan study also said that auto insurance rates are unaffordable in 97% of the state’s ZIP codes.

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

The legislation would also reduce out-of-control medical costs that are passed on to drivers via higher rates, cut fraud and conflicts of interest in the auto insurance system, and reduce the announced $220 annual Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association fee by 80%.

SB 1 now heads to the Michigan House for further consideration.