State Representative Thomas Albert provided this legislative update regarding his work in Lansing.
During my time in office, car insurance reform has been the most common issue I have heard about from constituents. While reform has been discussed in some capacity for nearly four decades, Michigan has long been the only state in the union to require every driver to purchase unlimited medical coverage. This is great coverage for those that can afford it, but for others it is a strain on their family budget.
This year, the Michigan legislature was finally able to deliver results for drivers across our state. The House spent 4 months examining the issue with an open, deliberative process. Before a final product was reached there were negotiations with the governor and House Democrats. After decades of our state being distracted by partisanship and political games we came together and delivered a responsible bipartisan solution that works. I am proud that I was able to take part in this historic vote and want to highlight the big changes you will see going forward.
In July of 2020, every Michigan driver will have a choice when selecting the level of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Instead of government mandates, drivers will be able to choose coverage that is best meets their needs and their budget. Drivers with adequate health insurance policies will be given the option to opt out of PIP coverage altogether. Those who are still interested in purchasing unlimited PIP coverage can continue to do so. A guaranteed premium reduction is established which is linked to the level of coverage selected.
The plan also establishes a fee schedule to reign in out of control medical costs. Medical providers will no longer be able to grossly inflate medical care for accident victims. Medical providers have been frequently charging up to five times more for servicing injuries incurred in an auto accident. In addition, insurance companies will not be able to use non-driving factors like ZIP code, home ownership, credit score and education level to set a driver’s rates. The reform also set up protections to crack down on fraudulent claims and bad actors who abuse the system, which will help further drive down costs for everyone.
Thank you to everyone who emailed or called my office, attended my office hours, or stopped me around our community to let me know how much auto insurance reform meant to you. I will continue to listen and dedicate my time as your state representative to finding real solutions to the most pressing issues facing our state. This reform proves that our Legislature and the governor can find common ground and continue to work together to make Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family.