Dianda: No-fault auto insurance reform still needed

There’s no doubt that Michigan drivers pay the highest auto insurance rates in the nation. I believe that seniors and families should be able to see a rate reduction without a loss in coverage — something that a recently rejected no-fault reform plan would have required. The plan did not guarantee rate reductions or get rid of discriminatory rating factors like zip code, occupation or credit score, but the bill did guarantee that benefits would be gutted for many Michigan drivers and their families. I am pleased my colleagues on both sides of the aisle joined me in defeating that misguided bill.

But just because this legislation did not pass doesn’t mean that work on reforming our auto insurance system is over. There is a better plan out there that I support, which will reduce costs without sacrificing our coverage. The bipartisan Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform package would lower rates and maintain benefits for Michiganders by reducing costs for seniors, bringing fairness to insurance rates, increasing transparency in how rates are set, cracking down on fraud, lowering health care costs for accident victims and reducing lawsuits. I am hopeful that this package of bills will receive a hearing in committee soon so that we can provide real relief for drivers.

I will also continue calling for action on House Bill 5124, which would allow seniors to waive coverage for personal injury protection benefits if they choose to rely on Medicare and lifetime retirement health care. We can do something today to lower insurance costs for many Michigan seniors, and I know my colleagues in the House will agree to this common-sense legislation to fix our no-fault system. I ask that you call the chairwoman of the House Insurance Committee at 517-373-1784 to bring these bills up for a committee hearing.