Senate GOP launches website on lowering auto insurance rates

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    Michigan Senate Republicans are continuing their quest to lower auto insurance rates in the state and they’re calling on citizens to share their stories of what they would do with the savings.

    State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) on Wednesday tweeted about a new website, ifmirateswerelower.com, that asks Michiganders: “What would it mean to you and your family if your rates were lower? What could you do with that extra money each month?”

    The website was registered on March 20 by Bill Carney, who does new media development for the state Senate Republicans, according to GoDaddy search results.

    Reforming the state’s “no-fault” auto insurance policy, which critics say has led to Michigan having some of the highest rates in the country, has been a top priority for Republicans in the House and Senate, with some bipartisan support.

    Jason Wentworth, Feb. 28, 2019 | Nick Manes

    Senate Republicans have identified the issue as their top priority this year, as the Advance previously reported. The state House meanwhile created a new special committee specifically tasked with addressing the issue.

    “Michigan drivers are demanding more affordable car insurance rates, and it’s well past time we deliver them,” Committee Chair state Rep. Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) said in a January statement. “I’m confident this group of legislators — with representation from Detroit all the way to Menominee — will develop a meaningful fix that unquestionably brings real rate relief for all Michiganders. Let’s get to work and get it done.”

    On average, Michigan drivers are paying more than $2,200 for their annual premiums, almost $900 more than the national average, according to a website set up by the House committee.

    Nick Manes
    Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.

    1 COMMENT

    1. Wow, republicans want to know what their constituents think! We already know we would put any savings on insurance toward our survival. What, might I ask, is the savings amount? Knowing that I can provide a specific answer down to the penny.

      Concurrently the House introduces legislation to repeal no fault (HB 4397) and the Senate introduces SB 1 which appears to address cost but does not, using the same rate regulatory language that got us to this place in the first place (no definition of reasonable).

      Independent study after study and in testimony before the House and Senate Insurance Committees has made it abundantly clear that unregulated runaway medical, professional service and attendant care costs are the primary cause of excessive premiums. Indirectly these costs incentivize lawsuits and fraud and abuse of the PIP system.

      In addition, rate setting based upon socioeconomic factors and credit scores is not actuarial sound practice; these factors are unjustifiable.

      Significantly reducing Michigan’s auto premiums is possible. Establishing a fee schedule for medical, professional services and attendant care will immediately cut insurers’ PIP costs. It will also reduce MCCA’s projections of future liability. Greater reliability for financial planning is an additional benefit accruing to all.

      Precedent for this action exists; see Workers’ Compensation fee schedules.

      Basing rates on driving record will eliminate the indefensible, blatantly discriminatory rating schemes. Higher rates because of gender, marital status, income, educational attainment, geography, etc., and credit score have never been justified; only discredited through impartial actuarial assessments.

      Before any action is taken insurers must provide the legislature premium reductions available from introducing a fee schedule. Further, plans must be submitted to track the impact of fee schedules on fraud, abuse and litigation; including plans to pass along these savings to policyholders.

      Fee schedules did this for Workers Compensation systems in several states, including Michigan.

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