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auto insurance

car crash
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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.

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

 


Today on Stateside, Governor Whitmer orders an audit of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association after it hikes the yearly fee on auto insurance policies by 15 percent. Plus, we explore two important pieces of our state's African-American history housed at the Library of Michigan.

Car accident
Daniel X. O'Neil/Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Michigan has two intertwined problems when it comes to car insurance rates, according to a new University of Michigan report: overall high premiums that place the biggest burden on the poorest communities.

DJ Carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are once again considering changes to Michigan’s auto insurance laws.

But it’s a battle they’ve been losing for years.

When asked Thursday to identify his top legislative goal, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) said reforming Michigan no-fault auto insurance law.

But he’s quick to admit overcoming the medical and legal lobbies will be difficult.

car with dented bumper
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Plans to change Michigan’s auto no-fault law will likely not make it to the governor’s desk this year. Lawmakers in the state House have been considering taking up the issue – and they still might. But with only days left in this session, the Senate is unlikely to follow suit.

insurancequotes.com

In nearly every state, your credit score impacts how much you pay for car insurance.

But according to a new report from insurancequotes.com, it matters more in Michigan than anywhere else.

cars on a highway
Joe Shlabotnik / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

 


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.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal lawsuit filed Thursday is challenging Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is among the plaintiffs suing the state Insurance agency. The other plaintiffs represent a wide mix of people from different parts of the state.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says Michigan’s auto insurance rates are still the highest in the nation.

The ZEBRA is a company that tracks auto insurance rates across the country.

Zebra’s Alyssa Connelly says the average annual auto premium in Michigan is about $2600, which is nearly twice the national average.  According to the report, North Carolina motorists pay the lowest annual premiums ($865). 

The 2018 State of Auto Insurance Report finds motorists in Detroit pay $5,414, on average.

car accident
Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Mike Duggan is the most powerful mayor of Detroit in many years, and probably the most popular one statewide in our lifetimes. Republicans, on the other hand, have overwhelming control of the state Legislature.

You’d think, then, that if the Democratic mayor of Detroit were to team up with the Republican Speaker of the House, you would have an unstoppable coalition of immense power.

You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.

After both men worked their respective constituencies for weeks, the State House of Representatives held a vote on an auto insurance reform bill that both Duggan and Speaker Tom Leonard desperately wanted.

The bill was designed to give people options for drastically lowered car insurance rates, especially in Detroit, where rates are the highest in the nation, and many people can’t afford and do not have coverage of any kind.

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

A plan to overhaul the state’s auto insurance system failed late Thursday night.

The bill would have gotten rid of the requirement that everyone have unlimited personal injury coverage. Instead, drivers would have been able to choose from three levels of coverage.

Speaker of the House Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) blamed Democrats for the failure. Leonard said he was always clear that he would need 10 to 15 Democrats for the bill to pass.

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