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auto insurance

a hospital hallway with people at the end of it
Robin Erb / Bridge

Michigan's new auto insurance law is overturning the lives of many auto accident survivors and their families, week by week, as long-term care providers that used to support them close.

Take the case of one of Christine Call's clients. She's a case manager for auto accident survivors. One of her clients is a quadriplegic with a traumatic brain injury.

Chalisse Wilson


Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Chanting, "We can't wait," survivors of catastrophic auto accidents, their families, and friends gathered Wednesday to call on state legislators to take action to prevent deep cuts to payments to their long-term care providers.

Bills to prevent the cuts (HB 4486 and SB 314) have been languishing in committees in the state House and Senate, with no hearings scheduled before elected leaders leave Lansing for summer recess. The 45% cuts will be imposed on July 1 as part of Michigan's new auto insurance law.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

A potential second tragedy is looming for Michigan auto accident survivors with brain and spinal cord injuries. 

On July 1, Michigan's new auto insurance law makes deep cuts in payments to providers of long-term care for these and future survivors. Many care providers are expected to close by then, or not long after. And in many cases, alternate care is simply unavailable. That could leave hundreds of people, especially those dependent on ventilator support, facing severe consequences -- including a heightened risk of death. 

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Updated 06/07/21 12:21 pm 

A potential second tragedy is looming for Michigan auto accident survivors with brain and spinal cord injuries. 

On July 1, Michigan's new auto insurance law makes deep cuts in payments to providers of long-term care for these and future survivors. Many care providers are expected to close by then, or not long after. And in many cases, alternate care is simply unavailable. That could leave hundreds of people, especially those dependent on ventilator support, facing severe consequences -- including a heightened risk of death. 

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Some companies that provide rehabilitation services for people catastrophically injured in car accidents are planning to shut their doors as of July 1.

That's when a 45% cut in medical reimbursements that was included in the 2019 changes to Michigan's auto insurance law takes effect.

Sarah Brown / Unsplash

A new law takes effect Wednesday that allows drivers to opt out of personal injury coverage in their auto insurance.

Drivers still have to carry liability coverage -- but now can choose how much medical coverage to buy.

Before now, state law required insurers to provide unlimited medical benefits if someone was injured in a crash.

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, less driving statewide during the COVID-19 pandemic means insurance companies need to distribute refunds. We find out about what this means for drivers, as well as how they’ll be affected by upcoming changes to the state’s no-fault law. Also, a look at how the history of LGBTQ Pride and the Black Lives Matter movement intersect. Plus, social media’s relationship to social change.

deer
mwanner_wc / creative commons

Today on Stateside, new draft regulations for PFAS in drinking water take a step closer to becoming a reality. Plus, Detroit struggles to get landlords to comply with rules that protect renters.

Car crash with deployed airbags.
Pixabay

Michigan drivers who want unlimited lifetime coverage for crash injuries will pay $100 per vehicle starting in July - a reduction from the $220 they are assessed now.

The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association announced the 55% fee cut on Wednesday, months after the passage of a new law making the mandatory benefit optional beginning next summer.

car crash
W. Robert Howell / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A lawsuit contends that some changes made to Michigan's auto insurance law are unconstitutional.

The complaint filed Thursday in Ingham County Circuit Court challenges two provisions of bills that Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed in May and June.

protesters at the state Capitol
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

Thousands rallied at the state Capitol Wednesday against Michigan’s auto insurance law.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed sweeping changes to the law in May. This ended the requirement that everyone have unlimited, lifetime medical benefits for catastrophic car accidents.

Ped Saunders / Creative Commons

Attorneys who handle accident claims say Michigan's new no fault law has implications for pedestrians and motorcyclists - and could be especially bad for motorcycle riders.

Brandon Hewitt is COO of Michigan Auto Law.

He says motorcyclists injured in a crash with a car can't make a claim on their own car insurance if they are injured.

They can claim only what the car driver's insurance pays out. 

man screaming at phone
Unsplash

 


Today on Stateside, we hear from two men who say they were sexually assaulted after being placed in adult prisons as teenagers. A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of hundreds of other men with similar claims  is finally going to court after years of state opposition. Plus, if you're sick of robocalls (we sure are), we've got some bad news: They aren't stopping anytime soon. 

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

It's Star Wars Night at the Lansing Lugnuts stadium, so there's a big crowd. 

Kids and moms and dads and Lugnuts fans of all sorts line up, get their tickets scanned, snap a photo with a favorite Star Wars character, and then fill the stands to watch the game.

Standing at one of the entrances is a slender, smiling man wearing a straw cowboy hat, scanning tickets.  That's David St. Amant, age 32. 

You can tell there's something different about him from the way his head is bent slightly to one side, and his slow, deliberate speech.

two cars in a rear ending accident
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The new auto insurance law signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer is leaving many questions about what will happen to the cost of insurance.

Lawmakers in the state House and Senate approved an amendment to the law on Tuesday to fix what they say would’ve caused a temporary spike in insurance costs.

 

Eric Lupher is the president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. He says the Legislature moved so quickly on the changes to the law that insurance companies are still trying to understand the ramifications.

 

whitmer speaking at podium
Zoe Clark / Michigan Radio

At the Mackinac Policy Conference, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that changes Michigan’s auto insurance law. And state Attorney General Dana Nessel set a deadline for Gov. Whitmer and Enbridge Energy to take action on the Line 5 oil and gas pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac. 

Gretchen Whitmer signing bill
Zoe Clark / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a law today to roll back the rates paid by drivers for personal injury protection in their auto insurance.

The savings would come by capping medical benefits that are currently unlimited. The governor and the Legislature’s Republican leaders acknowledged the negotiations were difficult. But Whitmer says the experience could set a pattern for other bargains.

striped safety cones on a road
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

 

Today on Stateside, the new director of the Michigan Department of Transportation says repairing Michigan's roads and bridges is going to require raising additional revenue, whether that's from a controversial proposed gas tax or another source. Plus, the story of how Michigan archivists helped solve the mystery of a Civil War veteran's missing gravestone.

 

Car accident
Kadmy / Adobe Stock

 

A recent study by the University of Michigan found auto insurance rates are unaffordable for residents in 97% of Michigan counties.

 

The high rates are especially tough on low-income residents in Detroit, where auto insurance rates average $5,414 a year. So, would recent changes to the state's auto insurance law, passed by state lawmakers last week, help those drivers most in need of relief? 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Some Democratic state legislators and car accident victims are lashing out at Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s support for legislation that changes Michigan’s car insurance system, calling it a betrayal of principles Whitmer had vowed to defend.

car crash
W. Robert Howell / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Legislature is holding a rare Friday session as negotiators make progress on a deal for changes to the state's auto insurance laws.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican legislative leaders have been trying to cut a deal in closed door talks.   

A Republican Senate caucus spokeswoman says progress is “progressing."

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Some Democratic state legislators from across Michigan are forming a coalition to push for an alternative version of changes to car insurance.

Calling themselves the “Real Deal” caucus, the legislators say current Republican bills jeopardize accident victims’ access to health care, and do little or nothing to address excessive rates, or eliminate the use of non-driving factors like credit scores to set rates.

Car accident
PhotoSpirt / Adobe Stock

The state Legislature’s Republican leaders say they will delay sending bills to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to change Michigan’s auto insurance system.

Republicans were poised to send the bills to Whitmer’s desk despite her vow to veto them, but Republican leaders say they’re still hopeful a deal can be reached that’s acceptable to all sides.

close up of crashed car
ABS Free Pic

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she will veto either of the plans Republicans in the Legislature have rolled out to deal with the high cost of auto insurance in Michigan.

Whitmer says she will only accept a plan that rolls back rates immediately, and relies on driving records to set rates, not where people live.

The Democratic governor also says the Republican bills should make the rollbacks permanent.

farm field
Julie Falk / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Today on Stateside, the fate of auto insurance reform in Michigan hangs in the balance as the state's Democratic governor and GOP-controlled Legislature take different stances on the issue. Plus, Iraqi-American comedian Abdallah Jasim talks about navigating cultural differences through comedy. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Car accident
Kadmy / Adobe Stock

Updated: Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 a.m.

The Republican-led state House early Thursday approved an overhaul that would let people opt out of mandatory unlimited medical coverage for car crashes. The Senate passed a plan earlier this week.

rehearsal of University of Minnesota Duluth's production of Time's Up
Brett Groehler

Today on Stateside, we talk to Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) after her meeting with U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about proposed changes to Title IX rules on campus sexual assault. Plus, how the advent of camper trailers helped drive the establishment of Michigan’s state park system.

picture of a comic book page
Ryan Clayton and Nick Baldridge

 

Today on Stateside, we hear about what's included in the auto insurance reform bill that got a fast-tracked approval from the state Senate on Tuesday. Plus, environmental justice leader Mustafa Santiago Ali talks about why he left the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after more than two decades, and why the voices of marginalized communities must be included in environmental policy.

cars in traffic
Nabeel Syed / Unsplash

The state's insurance regulator will review how auto insurers use non-driving factors to set rates.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the Department of Insurance and Financial Services to determine whether it's legal for car insurance companies to use education, credit scores and other non-driving factors when setting rates.

Whitmer also directed the department to look at how auto insurers price policies when medical coverage is coordinated with drivers' health insurance.

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