State Rep. Peter J. Lucido of Shelby Township today explained his ‘no’ on House Bill 5013, which proposed various changes to Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance system.
“Everyone, myself included, wants lower car insurance rates,” Lucido said after the bill was defeated. “But this bill as it stood was a bad deal for drivers. They’d pay a little less in premiums, but they’d take on greater risk and get far fewer benefits if they give up the top-notch coverage we’ve had for over 40 years under the no-fault system in Michigan. It’s not an even trade.”
Lucido said the bill in its current version does nothing to ensure that more Michigan motorists will follow state law and carry auto insurance. More than 20 percent of Michigan drivers (more than 1.4 million) now drive illegally without insurance, which creates additional costs for all insured drivers.
“Why offer rate reductions without a mechanism to truly make sure drivers carry the auto insurance they are legally required to have?” Lucido said. “We should ensure compliance on time, every time, in real time. And if motorists don’t comply, we should take their license plate and get their cars off the road.”
Lucido said he has introduced legislation that would address this specifically, along with several other issues related to auto insurance reform, which will reduce insurance costs without reducing benefits. To date, he has yet to be given a hearing.
Lucido said reforms should do more to root out fraud and abuse, and ensure more openness and accountability in the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, which to date has more than $20 billion. He is concerned that seniors would be put at risk with Medicare coverage that is not as good as now offered through no-fault insurance. Lucido also said people choosing a $250,000 personal injury protection option available in House Bill 5013 would have dangerously insufficient medical coverage if they are seriously injured in auto accidents, forcing them into bankruptcy.
“The $250,000 coverage level as it is outlined now would serve to fix injuries in the emergency room, then leave accident victims without adequate coverage for aftercare,” Lucido said. “This ultimately would shift costs to Medicaid and Medicare, raising costs in those systems.”
Lucido said he is willing to work with legislators to enact significant reform, including a thorough examination of how auto personal injury protection coverage and an individual’s health insurance coverage interact and affect costs in the event of a catastrophic auto accident.
“This bill just doesn’t add up to the reforms we need in Michigan,” Lucido said. “We need to find real solutions for Michigan drivers and protect their well-being.
“I have spent my entire adult life as a licensed insurance agent and as a practicing attorney protecting families. This issue is in my blood, and we must make the changes necessary for real reform. House Bill 5013 – unless it changes significantly – does not do the job.”