Shed light on auto insurance costs
The Michigan Legislature continues the ongoing discussion in Lansing surrounding auto no-fault insurance and high auto insurance rates in our state.
Constituents from every corner of Michigan are calling for lower rates. As a father to four children of driving age, I understand how high auto insurance rates can pose financial strain for a family.
My colleagues and I have heard these concerns, and resolving this problem has become a priority for many on both sides of the aisle. Yet, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association’s board of directors voted last week to increase its annual fee to $170 per year without providing adequate data to support this raise.
The MCCA, created by the Legislature in 1978, reimburses auto insurance companies for Personal Injury Protections claims in excess of $545,000. This fund is important, as it fulfills the promise of uncapped benefits for catastrophic accidents and covers all medical expenses for someone who has been in a catastrophic accident.
It is problematic that we, as consumers, do not understand how the annual MCCA fee is determined. Every vehicle owner in Michigan is required to have auto insurance, and thus pay the annual MCCA fee. The MCCA, however, is not subject to our Freedom of Information Act laws and does not have to disclose information on how the fee is assessed and how the funds are used. Therefore, no evidence or data is required to justify a raise in rates.
To have an all-encompassing conversation about auto insurance rates, we need to have all of the information. We need transparency. Right now, we are missing an important piece of the puzzle.
To be as transparent as we all want our government to be, I introduced House Bill 4049 as one of my first bills this legislative session. HB 4049 would require the MCCA to disclose data used to compute annual actuarial rate setting, including per-vehicle assessments, as well as expected losses, incurred but not reported losses, and expenses.
My bill is being reviewed by the House Committee on Insurance, and we are hoping the committee will hold a hearing on the bill soon.
The legislation would ensure consumers in Michigan have the right to full disclosure, increased accessibility, and transparency when it comes to their household expenses.
State Rep. Patrick Green, D-Warren, represents Michigan’s 28th District.