The House Republicans in the state are trying again after having been unsuccessful last year.
House Republicans are bringing their Michigan auto insurance reform push right back into the spotlight again, after having failed to obtain adequate support for the massive overhaul that they had proposed in 2013.
The new goal is to eliminate the unlimited lifetime benefits that are currently available in the state.
At the moment, Michigan auto insurance law makes it possible for individuals who are catastrophically injured in vehicle accidents to continue to receive benefits for the remainder of their lives, without a cap to the amount that can be spent on their claims. Instead, the new reforms that the Republicans are hoping to put into place would place a limit on those benefits, at $10 million.
The proposed Michigan auto insurance reforms would also require insurers to guarantee a premiums savings.
Under the reforms that the Republicans are seeking, insurance companies would be required to guarantee a savings of 10 percent on premiums for the first two years. According to Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) the Speaker of the House, the state already has the best auto coverage in the country, but its drivers are also paying some of the highest premiums in order to maintain it. “Families are struggling to pay their auto insurance bills. We want to maintain the best but make it more affordable.”
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Last year, a similar effort had been made by the House Republicans in order to reform the state’s system. However, the committee hearings drew dozens of people who were against the proposed overhaul, many of whom were relying on the payments from the current system after having been critically injured in vehicle crashes. L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive, was also highly opposed to the changes even before his August 2012 accident in which he sustained critical injuries. Patterson was very vocal about his opinion on the changes that the Republicans were trying to make.
Last year’s Michigan auto insurance reform proposal, however, would have replaced the unlimited lifetime benefits with a cap of $1 million. The hopes of the Republicans are that the new limit that is ten times higher than that will gain them more support.