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Detroit's mayor presses for major changes to Michigan's no-fault auto insurance law

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Detroit’s mayor calls Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law “morally indefensible.”

Mayor Mike Duggan took his campaign to change the law to the state capitol Wednesday.

Duggan outlined what he says are the problems with Michigan’s high auto insurance rates to the state Senate Insurance and Banking Committee.

Duggan says the current system doesn’t trust Michigan motorists to make their own choice about how much auto insurance to carry.

“It says we can’t trust you to make the choice to buy what you can afford.  We’re going to mandate the most expensive insurance in Michigan,” Duggan told the senators on the panel.

Duggan says the current system has created a system that benefits health institutions and lawyers.

Laura Wortuba is a spokeswoman for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.  She takes issue with Duggan’s accusation.

“Our number one priority has always been protecting care for patients injured in car accidents so that they don’t end up bankrupt, unable to live at home, and/or reliant on taxpayer-funded government programs,” says Wortuba.

Wortuba says “common-sense reforms” can bring long-term rate relief to Michigan motorists.

But groups insist protections must remain for people who suffer catastrophic injuries in auto accidents.

“We believe that the benefits that people need when they are injured are covered by the system and should be covered by the system and there are other ways to bring down the cost of that care,” says Margaret Kroese, with the Hope Network, a group that helps individuals with traumatic brain injuries.

Despite ongoing opposition from different groups, Duggan is optimistic major changes can be made to Michigan’s auto insurance law this year. 

Republican legislative leaders have made revamping Michigan’s auto insurance laws as a priority.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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