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Billionaire Dan Gilbert might try to take auto insurance changes to voters

two cars in a rear ending accident
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Opps. A fender bender in Ann Arbor. Michiganders spend a lot for auto insurance.

Michigan billionaire Dan Gilbert is focused on lowering the state’s auto insurance rates. He's trying to convince the state Legislature to get on board with his proposal – but if it won’t, he says he’ll start a campaign initiative for the 2020 ballot.

Parts of Michigan have some of the highest auto insurance rates in the nation, and Gilbert says the way to fix that is to stop requiring drivers to have unlimited, lifetime medical coverage.

Jared Fleisher is a spokesperson for Gilbert. He says if the state Legislature won’t get on board, Gilbert is ready to take the issue to the people.

“That’s the key policy that we’re after – choice. Letting folks choose the amount of coverage they want to buy,” he says.

But people who want to keep the requirement for unlimited, lifetime medical benefits say there’s a better way to lower the state’s rates. They say Michigan needs to stop letting insurance companies set rates based on non-driving factors like marital status and credit scores.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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