The Republican-led Michigan House early Thursday approved a plan to reduce the state’s high auto insurance premiums, moving to no longer require that drivers buy unlimited medical benefits through their car insurer to cover crash injuries.
The move set the stage for a potential showdown with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who threatened to veto separate auto insurance legislation that cleared the GOP-controlled Senate earlier in the week. The top House Republican said he hoped to soon reach a compromise with senators and the governor. “The goal here is to get a signature by the governor and deliver rate relief for the people of our state. We’re going to have the conversations that are necessary to make that happen,” said Speaker Lee Chatfield of Levering.
The House bill — which passed 61-49 on a largely party-line vote after 2 a.m. — 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%, depending on the coverage chosen. That could equal an estimated $120 and $1,200 in savings for someone paying $2,400 annually per car, assuming the PIP fee accounts for half their bill, according to Republicans’ projections.