Column by State Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland
This year has brought with it many challenges for our friends, family members, and neighbors in Bay and Midland counties. However, in the midst of the COVID and flooding chaos, one major milestone, after decades, has finally arrived. Finally, long-awaited car insurance reforms have taken effect, giving drivers more coverage choices with lower premium costs.
Even before being elected to serve as your state representative nearly two years ago, I heard from countless residents about extremely high insurance rates and the inability to do anything about it. In fact, before COVID and the flood occurred, I heard about this issue more than any other issue our state was facing. That’s why I made rate relief for area drivers a top priority when I got to Lansing.
I was honored to be selected to serve as vice-chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Insurance and Financial Services, where I gained even more knowledge about this issue and the ways in which we might be able to cut the most expensive premium costs in the nation. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle worked together from day-one to find a bipartisan solution for Michigan drivers, which was signed into law by Gov. Whitmer.
The new law, which took effect July 1st, guarantees lower rates by offering drivers more choices on Personal Injury Protection coverage, stopping price gouging on medical services for car accident victims, combating fraudulent claims, and strengthening consumer protections. The best news is, you can continue the exact same coverage you’ve always had and still get a lower premium.
Also, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association annual $220 per vehicle fee has been lowered to $100 per vehicle – a 55 percent savings and the lowest the fee has been since 2003 – a direct result of the new law we passed. Plus, this fee will only be charged to drivers who choose to keep the unlimited lifetime Personal Injury Protection option. Drivers who choose lower coverage limits under Michigan’s revised no-fault insurance law will avoid the fee altogether, paying $220 less.
While all of this is great news for drivers, it also requires Michigan drivers to make a decision we haven’t had to make in nearly 50 years – and that can be challenging. That’s why I encourage drivers to shop around and gather quotes from multiple providers. The insurance provider or agent you’ve always had might not be the best option for you this year. It’s important you make an informed decision to choose what is best for you and your family.
For more specific information, drivers can visit www.ReduceMiRatesNow.com, a user-friendly platform that includes a rundown of all the new coverage options, educational guides, and shopping tips to help you maximize your savings. You can also visit https://www.michigan.gov/autoinsurance for more information and to participate in an upcoming virtual town hall for Michigan drivers taking place on August 19.
Your voice matters. After learning about your new coverage options, getting quotes from multiple providers, and working with your insurer or insurance agent, if you’re still unhappy with your new rate, complaints can be filed with the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) here:
My office staff and I are also always here to help you navigate the system. If you need help with any insurance-related issues or concerns – from auto insurance to flood insurance, or any other issue – we’re here to help at [email protected] or by phone at 517-373-1791.
The new auto insurance reform is a breakthrough for the people of Michigan. Throughout all the chaos in 2020, it’s great to have some good news to share that will benefit all of us. We can finally close the chapter on Michigan drivers being forced to pay the highest car insurance rates in the nation.
Rep. Glenn talks about her House Bill 4640, which eliminates an inconsistency in state law that sometimes could undermine a court’s ability to step in and protect neglected children. The legislation is currently under consideration in the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee.
The Michigan House today approved Rep. Annette Glenn’s plan to enhance government accountability by protecting state employees who speak out about potential problems within their departments. It’s Glenn’s latest effort at making state government more open and accountable.