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Bipartisan group rolls out plan for no-fault auto insurance overhaul

wrecked car
Robbie Howell
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
There are competing plans in the state Legislature for making changes to Michigan's auto insurance laws.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Lansing say they have a plan to make auto insurance more affordable – without cutting benefits.

Representative Ben Frederick is a Republican. He says auto insurance cost is a topic that is constantly brought up. But he says nothing ever gets done about it.

“So this year we’re taking what has many might think is a forgotten approach in Lansing, and certainly long gone in DC – a bipartisan approach.”

Among other things, the legislation would bar insurers from using factors like gender and zip code to set rates.

“I’m not saying women are better drivers than others. But I’m just saying it’s not fair to charge us more because of our pulchritude,” said Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit).

The legislation would also make the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association more transparent.

Speaker of the House Tom Leonard has been working with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on a different version of a car insurance overhaul.     

But he says he’s happy to see multiple groups working on the issue.

“It shows the momentum that the mayor and I have on this issue right now. Outside groups are scared. They are finally coming to the table because they know we are very close to getting something together that is going to deliver real rate relief to the citizens of this state," Leonard said. 

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