Michigan Auto Insurance Rates Are Going Up This Year

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LANSING (WILX)-- It's the latest increase from the "Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association," which pays for lifetime medical care for people seriously hurt in accidents.

The increase has critics pushing for a change to Michigan's "no-fault" insurance law.

Unlimited medical insurance would be good to have in a major accident, but the benefits come with a cost.

Michigan is the one of the most expensive states when it comes to No-Fault insurance. The average No-Fault claim has increased by 324% in the past 12 years. It increased to $44,138 in 2012. The next state is New Jersey, that averages at $17,570 per claim.

"Michigan premiums are above other states surrounding us. Also the average claims are higher and that reflects on what people pay here," said Insurance Institute of Michigan employee Lori Conarton.

Increasing health care means the MCCA will increase their assessments to $186 dollars per insured vehicle. That's a 6 % increase from the $175 per vehicle cost in 2012.

"You pay a MCCA fee but you also pay for PIP the medical under your regular policy as well. So those two combined are increasing," said Conarton.

Critics says other factors have driven up the cost as well.

"When you have unlimited medical coverage you have abuses, and abuses drive up the cost," said Senator Rick Jones (R).

Having to pay $11 more dollars may not sound like much, but it could be the determining factor that makes auto insurance unaffordable for the average family.

"What we find with the increased premium is that there's more people driving on the road uninsured," said Conarton.

Law makers believe putting a cap on unlimited medical coverage might be the answer to lowering premiums.

"Part of the problem is that we are the only state that has unlimited medical coverage. I'm in favor of allowing the citizens allowing to choose their coverage," said Jones.

"If we lowered it to one million it would still be 20X higher than the next state," said Conarton.

The MCCA and its supporters believe people with lesser insurance policies may not have enough coverage if they are in a serious accident.

It's unlikely any insurance law changes will be passed before the new rate kicks-in July 1st.

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