Motorists in Michigan now have the distinction of paying the highest rates for automobile insurance in America. The increase is attributed to the state’s mandate for unlimited coverage for personal injuries.
The average motorist pays more than an astounding $2,500 per year. Analysts point out that Michigan’s average payout for personal injury claims is three times higher than it was 10 years ago.
The predictable effect of the astronomical cost of auto insurance is that many drivers cannot afford the coverage or choose not to pay it. The effect is that injured drivers and passengers who are uninsured place a financial burden on the state and taxpayers who would ultimately have to pay for treatment costs.
The legislature is examining bills that would alter the state’s unlimited no-fault system by starting personal coverage at a minimum of $50,000, which is about $10,000 to $15,000 higher than the majority of other states with required minimum coverage.
To stem the rising tide of insurance fraud, another measure would required medical care providers to bill health insurers within three months of treatment. This would permit a more careful review of the claim.
The proposed legislation does not address low income motorists who would still be unable to afford the high premiums, despite the change in coverages. Insurance analysts are hoping that companies will be able to offer basic, affordable coverage to anyone who opts for it.