Duggan, officials unveil proposal to slash Michigan auto insurance rates

- Elected officials announced Tuesday a proposal to combat Michigan's high insurance rates, slashing them by an average of 20 percent per driver.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan revealed the bipartisan plan called M-Insurance this afternoon alongside its sponsors, House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, and Rep. Lana Theis, R-Brighton.

They say the plan would on average save drivers with comprehensive coverage 20 percent, retirees with full lifetime health care 35 percent, and drivers with no collision or theft coverage 50 percent.

The way they plan to reduce rates is by ending the requirement that Michigan drivers buy unlimited medical insurance benefits -- no matter whether they already have health care coverage. Michigan is the only state in the country with this requirement.

RELATED: Mayor pushes for cutting Detroit car insurance rates, Senate pushes back

Under the plan proposed today, drivers could choose to stick with their unlimited coverage, or elect to buy either 250,000 or $500,000 for personal injury protection, which provides coverage on a per person, per accident basis.

According to the mayor's office and insurer.com, New Jersey has the nation’s second highest level of personal injury protection coverage at $250,000. Ten states require $50,000 or less, and 38 states do not require personal injury protection.

Duggan released a comparative chart:

The mayor's office reports Michigan drivers pay the highest auto insurance premiums in the country at an average of $2,400 annually - nearly twice the U.S. average at $1,318.

Under the proposal, seniors would receive the biggest cuts - between about $800 to $1,000 per year. Another section of the legislation addresses fraud, by banning lawyers from owning medical facilities they send clients to and creating an anti-fraud authority to curb abuses that increase insurance rates.

RELATED: Auto insurers illegally charge women more in Michigan, study says

Michigan drivers who pay into the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Fund would also receive excess funds in the form of rebates and rate reductions.

For an example of what an insurance bill would look like under this proposal, click here.

Insurance quote company QuoteWizard released a report earlier this summer that says Detroit drivers are the best in the country. Based on the Motor City's statistics on accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs and citations, which includes distracted driving or running a red light, Detroit ranks at No. 1 as the city with the best drivers. The insurance quote company says they used 2 million driver data points to create the list out of America's most populous metro city areas.

Watch Duggans announcement here:

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