Representative Michael Webber of Rochester Hills issued the following statement after voting against House Bill 5013, which would have made changes to Michigan’s auto insurance system:
“Many have been following the auto insurance debate in Lansing with a promise of rate reductions – something that all residents want. After not supporting House Bill 5013 in the House Insurance Committee last week, I worked on amendments that were important to many members that would add transparency and oversight to lower our auto insurance rates. One amendment added needed transparency to the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association – with a fund that holds over $20 billion of our ratepayer money – while also suspending the per vehicle assessment until the Legislature could better understand the health of the fund. This rate relief of $170 per vehicle would be the first rebate since the one secured by Governor Engler in the late 1990s and would represent the only true rate reduction guaranteed in the bill. The second amendment would end the “file and use” practice of insurance companies filing their rates with the state, but beginning to charge them without prior approval. Additional oversight is necessary when our state has the highest rates in the nation.
“Unfortunately, neither amendment was adopted into the final version of the bill and so I voted ‘no’ on the final product on the House floor. This highly flawed piece of legislation written to benefit the insurance companies and trial lawyers would not solve many of the problems facing our auto no fault system. The bill shifts cost from insurance companies to our state budget and taxpayers, does not guarantee a meaningful rate reduction, and does not provide the oversight and transparency rate payers would like to see. Who would win under this bill? Not the residents of the Greater Rochester area.
“There are other bills that have been introduced in a bipartisan fashion that can continue to drive discussion towards a meaningful compromise that can pass the House, the Senate and be signed by the Governor. There is a process to get legislation passed in Lansing. To simply put a bill up for a vote on the House floor that does not have the votes, and would not be taken up by the Senate, is an ineffective strategy at best and will do nothing to actually lower rates. I am happy to see the conversation surrounding auto no fault continue. I stand ready to work with my colleagues in the House and the Senate on both sides of the aisle to find a real solution that addresses fraud, offers real reforms that will lower costs for rate payers, and lessen the number of no fault related lawsuits.”