The Senate Insurance Committee has passed an amended version of the plan put forward by Mayor Mike Duggan.
Senators in Michigan have now passed an amended version of the reduced rate auto insurance plan that had been put forward by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, which would provide discounted coverage to cities that have a minimum population of 500,000 and in which at least half of all of the drivers are insured.
The amendments to the D-Insurance plan have broadened the reach of the program to smaller cities.
The senators voted in favor of the amended version, 5 to 3, which will lower the uninsured motorist threshold to cities that have at least 35 percent. At the time, there wasn’t a complete view of the percentage of drivers that had auto insurance in all communities, but senators were still convinced that the amendment to the D-Insurance plan should open it up to other cities in the state, potentially including Kalamazoo, Warren, or Saginaw. Following the meeting in which the vote took place, Chairperson Joe Hune (R-Hamburg Township) explained that he was not certain which cities would be benefitting from the amendments to the bill.
The auto insurance bill was sponsored by Senator Virgil Smith (D-Detroit), who was busy on several fronts that day.
While the senator testified in favor of the D-Insurance bill, he was also awaiting trial on gun-related charges within his city. That said, the bill is also supported by the insurance industry as a whole. Equally, not everyone is in favor of this bill, as many medical providers, as well as the Coalition Protecting Auto No Fault has spoken out against it. The coalition has explained that it feels that the bill threatens the unique no-fault system that has been in place in Michigan for years.
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That system provides victims of auto collisions with unlimited medical coverage. However, when Duggan spoke about the existing plan, he said that he felt that the new bill didn’t threaten the current no-fault car insurance system in the state. Instead, it would provide that system with support.
Duggan explained that residents of Detroit are currently paying an average of $3,400 per year per vehicle for auto insurance premiums, which is about twice the amount being paid by drivers in nearby communities. Therefore, the majority of Detroit drivers don’t have any coverage at all, which is against the law. “The biggest threat to no-fault is when you’ve got half the drivers in your city who don’t even participate,” he said.