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Republican Auto Insurance Reform May Be DOA

Auto insurance reform in Michigan is expected to arrive on Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk soon where she has vowed to veto it.

The State House passed a bill Wednesday to overhaul the system while the Senate approved their bill earlier in the week. Both the House and Senate Republican-backed plans aim to reduce insurance rates, which Michigan motorists pay the highest in the nation.

State Representative Greg Markkanen supported the House bill, saying  the plan offers drivers personal injury coverage options, reins in medical costs and fights fraud.

“Every single Michigan driver will see lower car insurance rates with this solution,” Markkanen said. “I’m extremely pleased we were able to come together and deliver a plan that will finally rein in out-of-control premiums.”

Democrat State Representative Sara Cambensy of Marquette voted in favor of the bills, saying, “I voted yes to take the first step to lower car insurance rates and keep negotiations between the Michigan House and Senate moving forward before it reaches the governor. I understand this bill does not yet provide the guaranteed rate relief Michigan drivers expect and deserve from Lansing. I understand that the governor will veto this bill as-is without them. This is why I urge all of my colleagues in Lansing to come together in the coming weeks and finish the work we started.”

Democrats in the House called the proposal a gift to insurance companies and offered their own version of auto insurance reform, which focused on eliminating non-driving factors when determining rates.

“Too many Michiganders cannot afford to pay for auto insurance and they deserve a plan that guarantees lower rates now,” said House Democratic Leader Christine Greig. “Our solution would have provided long-term, meaningful rate reduction for drivers while holding insurance companies accountable for discriminatory practices. But instead of working across the aisle to get the best deal for drivers, House Republicans rushed through a bill in the dark of night that only lowers costs for five years before insurance companies can once again jack up drivers’ rates. That is wrong and Michiganders deserved better than another insurance industry handout.”

In her criticism of the senate bill, Governor Whitmer said the only cuts the Republican plan guarantees is to drivers’ medical coverage.

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