Opinion: Michigan residents finally have auto insurance options
I was elected with a mandate from the people of Detroit to reform Michigan’s broken auto insurance system, and to bring relief to thousands of Detroiters saddled with the highest auto insurance premiums in the country.
From day one, I pushed for significant changes that would bring the maximum savings, including personally negotiating the end of using zip codes and FICO Credit scoring in determining rates. I proudly cast a “yes” vote for historic bipartisan legislation to reform Michigan’s outdated auto no-fault system because I knew it would deliver the relief my constituents and drivers across the state have been demanding for years.
Today I’m pleased to say the reforms are working, and I have no doubt drivers across Michigan will save on their auto insurance. All you need to do is be informed and shop around.
Over the last few weeks I have been calling insurance companies and independent agents to get quotes to insure my three vehicles while completely opting out of medical coverage with my auto insurance premium. Currently I pay nearly $11,000 a year to insure those cars. Each quote was different. Some were higher and some were lower. But all of them saved me between $5,400 and $8,000 on my auto insurance.
Even if I kept Michigan’s Cadillac of benefits — the unlimited, lifetime medical coverage we’ve been forced to buy for decades — my bill still would have been cut in half, saving $5,400 annually. This is good news for Detroiters and for people across Michigan.
That’s why I am urging Detroiters and all Michigan residents to reach out to their auto insurance company or agent, get informed and find out what options are available to you so you can pick a plan that works best for your budget.
It’s no secret our outdated auto no-fault law made car insurance unaffordable in Detroit. Because of this, as many as 50% of drivers on the road in Detroit don’t have car insurance. Our auto no-fault system with its outrageous costs turned working moms struggling to make ends meet, dads working two or three jobs and even grandparents into criminals.
I’ve heard the stories firsthand from constituents across my district, particularly of police officers in neighboring communities sitting on Mack Avenue or 8 Mile running plates and pulling people over.
That’s just plain wrong.
By making car insurance more affordable, more people can get it and operate lawfully. The new law requires auto insurance companies to reduce their rates on the PIP medical portion of your premium for the next eight years, and that puts money right back into your pocket when you need it most. For me, it will mean money for daycare. For someone else, it may be a chance to buy their first house or pay their rent or put money away to go back to college and finish their degree.
Having gone through this process myself, I understand it can be intimidating. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And if you don’t like what you are hearing from one agent or company, then call someone else. Remember, if you pick the most expensive option then you aren’t going to save as much. But, if you have Medicare or your employer-sponsored health insurance will cover injuries sustained in a car accident, then explore your options and find one that works best for you and your family.
For the first time ever, Detroiters have a true choice and a real opportunity to shop around to take advantage of these historic reforms and save real money on their auto insurance. With all the challenges we are facing, these long overdue savings couldn’t come at a more important time.
Sen. Adam Hollier, D-Detroit, serves Michigan’s 2nd District.
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