Whitmer Touts Auto Insurance Savings; Injury Group Says Benefits Are Illusory

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Image credit: State of Michigan

The governor said drivers can expect savings ranging from 25% to 62% depending on the level of coverage they choose. The Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council said that’s at the expense of long-term care for those catastrophically injured in car accidents.

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday that drivers can expect bigger savings on auto insurance rates over what they paid in the previous year. That’s under the state’s new insurance law that she signed in 2019. But critics say that’s at a high cost to people who are catastrophically injured in auto accidents.

In a news release, Whitmer said drivers can expect savings ranging from 25% to 62% depending on the level of coverage they choose. The governor said the reduction in premiums will be on top of refunds that are coming from the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association.

Michigan drivers called for relief from high auto insurance rates for decades, and I am pleased that this bipartisan legislation has resulted in savings, increased consumer protections, and more consumer choices than ever before,” she said. “Drivers are able to choose the coverage level that best meets their families’ needs and budget, and even those who’d like to keep unlimited coverage, which provides the nation’s most generous benefits, are still saving money.” 

But Tom Judd with the Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council said that is at the expense of long-term care for people catastrophically injured in car accidents. That’s because the law cut payments to home care providers by nearly half. Many long-term care providers are going out of business as a result.

A lot of people are kind of in limbo right now trying to figure out where these services will continue if these providers go away,” he said. “And all the while, they’re holding out hope that the Legislature and the governor will come together and find a viable solution to end this crisis and continue the care and service that these people need.”

Judd said the governor and the Legislature can fix the problem, but there’s been no substantive movement in that direction.

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Rick Pluta, REPORTER / PRODUCER - MICHIGAN PUBLIC RADIO NETWORK

Rick Pluta has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.

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