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The Latest: House passes bill to cut auto insurance premiums

May 9, 2019

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the Michigan Legislature’s consideration of auto insurance legislation (all times local):

2:15 a.m.

Legislation to cut high auto insurance rates is advancing in Michigan.

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 in the week, setting up a potential showdown with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer if a bill reaches her desk.

The House bill would let motorists forego mandatory unlimited personal injury protection, a requirement only in Michigan. Insurers would have to cut PIP rates, for five years, by between 10% and 100%. That could equal an estimated $120 and $1,200 in savings for someone paying $2,400 annually, according to Republicans’ projections.

Democrats oppose the bill, saying it favors the insurance industry and would not guarantee long-term rate relief or ensure the elimination of non-driving factors in setting rates. Republicans say people should not be forced to buy unlimited coverage.

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4:10 p.m.

The Michigan House is moving to quickly pass its own overhaul of the state’s auto insurance system a day after a plan was approved by the Senate.

In a surprise move, House Republicans are planning to consider the legislation Wednesday night. A committee has held hearings on the issue, but a bill has yet to be proposed.

The pending measure is expected to call for eliminating Michigan’s one-of-a-kind requirement that people buy unlimited medical coverage from their car insurer for crash injuries. Instead, motorists could choose lower levels of coverage.

Michigan has the highest average premiums in the country.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has threatened to veto fast-tracked legislation that won mostly party-line passage from the Senate, saying it would not guarantee rate cuts or address discriminatory rate-setting practices.

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