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Will Detroit’s lawsuit bring down cost of auto insurance in Michigan?

cars on a highway
Joe Shlabotnik
A new lawsuit filed by Mayor Mike Duggan against the state of Michigan argues mandated auto insurance is unconstitutional.


Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and a handful of residents have filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Michigan over the high cost of auto insurance.  

Michigan’s average rate is twice that of the national average. In Detroit, no-fault auto insurance costs about six thousand dollars a year.

Wayne Miller is an attorney and chairman of Miller & Tischler. He is also an adjunct professor at Wayne State University Law School and an expert on no-fault insurance. Miller joined Stateside’s Lester Graham to discuss what this lawsuit means for the state. 

The lawsuit claims that no-fault auto insurance is unconstitutional because the state mandates insurance coverage, and in certain low-income areas, auto-owners simply cannot afford it. Miller said this is a fair claim in the city of Detroit, where auto insurance premiums are the highest in the nation. But outside the city, Miller argues the insurance rates are actually fairly moderate. 

According to Miller, the insurance industry plays a large role in the cost disparities between urban and rural areas. 

“We all know and understand that the city of Detroit is redlined — that within the city, the insurance companies use a number of factors that are not related to driving record, and I think you see the result of that being these extraordinarily high rates,” Miller said. 

Listen above to hear Miller discuss previously proposed changes to no-fault insurance, and what would happen if Michigan returned to the tort law system.

This post was written by Stateside production assistant Sophie Sherry. 

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