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GOP lawmakers try to revive no-fault overhaul

Feb 20, 2014

At the state Capitol, House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) says he still hopes to get an overhaul of Michigan's no-fault auto insurance law through the Legislature this year.  He rolled out a new plan to end Michigan's unlimited lifetime medical benefits coupled with the promise of a rate reduction. 

 "We do seek to ensure more drivers, make our auto insurance more affordable," said Bolger at a news conference to announce the proposal. 

 Earlier efforts have stalled in the face of opposition from Democrats and some Republicans who say the current no-fault system takes care of almost everyone who suffers an auto-related injury. But Bolger says rates are unaffordable to too many people.

 Motorists would still have to buy coverage, but Bolger says it would be less expensive. 

 "We would have a minimum required savings for auto insurance ratepayers of 10 percent of their total premium - a 10 percent guaranteed minimum relief for our hard-working families that are struggling to pay their auto insurance bill." 

He's promising the rate reduction would last two years. Bolger says the plan would also roll back costs by reducing lawsuits.  State Rep. Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek), the minority vice chair of the House Insurance Committee, says there's no guarantee that savings and rate-cuts would last more than a couple of years.  "It is still massively cutting the benefits and security of Michigan drivers and is a sham of savings when there is a lot of questions, still."

 She says since this effort to revamp auto coverage does not guarantee real long-term savings to consumers, it will meet the same fate as earlier Republican efforts to overhaul no-fault.

House Speaker Jase Bolger unveils new Republican no-fault overhaul proposal that would set limits on fees, cap lifetime medical benefits at $10 million.
Credit Michigan Public Radio Network