Auto insurance reform: Lawmakers say now is the time

By  | 

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - For years, state lawmakers have promised to change Michigan's auto insurance laws to make coverage more affordable.

So far, they haven't come through.

The latest attempt started Wednesday.

With new leadership in place, many are hopeful that this time will be different.

"The governor has said that she would like to see this change. She would like to see rates go down. The leaders in the Senate and the House all said that, as well. I think we're pretty unified in wanting to see a solution," said State Senator Lana Theis, (R), Chair of the Insurance and Banking Committee.

Many residents are leery until they see some real action.

"Every politician who has darkened our doors has promised, 'We will do something to lower the cost of insurance in Michigan,'" said Jackson resident Katrina Strub.

Others say it's a matter of keeping people in the state.

"The time is right to get it fixed if we're going to be competitive going into the next decade," said Eric Lupher, President of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

As much as lawmakers want to get it done, the timeline is uncertain.

"It's a big, complex issue so it's not going to be done overnight with one decisive decision in this group, but this committee will come up with a big bite out of the elephant and we'll take it from there," said State Senator Marshall Bullock, (D), District 4.

John Cornack with the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault says he hopes all parties will be able to come to the table to work together.

Senator Theis is backing a bill that would allow drivers to pick their level of Personal Injury Protection.

It would also allow drivers who are over 62 and on Medicare to choose whether or not they want it at all.