Drivers in the state of Michigan can now heave a sigh of relief as an end to the burden of exorbitant auto insurance premium is on the horizon. For many decades, auto insurance rates in Michigan have been the highest in the nation. Elected officials failed to resolve the issue, until last week when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer achieved what seems to be impossible.
Drivers throughout the state of Michigan had consistently demanded a downward review of auto insurance premium year after year without success. That is why drivers in the state were ecstatic when their aspiration finally became a reality.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer did the seemingly impossible by successfully rallying the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties in the state House and Senate. This new tariff regime, which will span the next eight years, will help drivers save money on insurance through various avenues. Drivers will now be eligible to choose the auto insurance policy and coverage options they desire. The tariff schedule was also revised to prevent excessive charges for auto injuries, and use of unfair non-driving factors to determine insurance premium rates.
These recent change in policy benefits the entire seven million drivers in the state, but the drivers in the Southeast region of Michigan have more to gain from the deal. The previous law allows insurance companies to use non-driving factors to determine insurance premium rates. As a result, insurance companies use credit score, education, gender, marital status, ZIP code, occupation, and home ownership status to set arbitrary insurance premium rates. The neighborhoods in Southeast Michigan are often the victims of insurance redlining.
As Detroit is struggling to recover from the recent economic meltdown, it is essential to reconsider why we choose to live in Michigan. A city where the car insurance premium is higher than the car note.
A good friend, William Werner deliberated on this issue with his wife before he decided to raise his family in Michigan. He chose to live here in spite of the many challenges he had to face, which include the burden of exploitative auto insurance. And he did not regret his decision because Michigan is the best place to raise a family.
However, each time he had to shell out their hard-earned money to renew his auto insurance, he cannot help but feel cheated. The average driver in Detroit pays $5,464 every year to drive. This amount is 400% higher than the national average! They can appreciate the lopsided tariffs because he spend lots of time in different parts of the country.
For instance, his car used to be parked on the street when he was living in Washington D.C. and was bashed several times. Yet, his insurance premium was not increased. Now back in Detroit, where he parks in a secure garage, the cost of insurance is almost four times higher.
Unfortunately, the exploitative auto insurance premium rates in Michigan had placed many families in a dilemma for decades. Buying the unreasonable auto insurance plan, or foregoing it all together means risking financial predicament.
Drivers in Detroit have been compelled to purchase expensive auto insurance for decades. However, the quagmire of auto insurance will be a thing of the past when this new tariff regime takes effect.
The reform in the auto insurance tariffs is a step in the right direction. It places us in a vantage position tackle other challenges in the state of Michigan.
Whitmer’s ability to secure the much-needed reform by working alongside the bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate is impressive. The cooperation of Mike Shirkey, the Senate Majority Leader, and Lee Chatfield, the speaker of the house should be lauded as well. This bipartisan deal has ended decades of auto insurance hardship for every resident of the state.
This recent development has renewed my faith in the ability of Whitmer to rally the bipartisan leadership to resolve another pressing problem -the bad roads. They should build on this achievement to develop the road infrastructure of the state and provide more relief for all road users.
We shall continue to work together to bring reforms that make the state of Michigan, one of the best places to live, work, and succeed in America.