Michigan Car Insurance Changes Would Limit Injury Payments

Michigan lawmakers are considering changes to the current car insurance requirements in the state. To reduce the number of uninsured motorists on the road, they would like to reduce the minimum requirements for personal injury coverage. The changes being considered would also regulate health-related claims more closely so that the insurance would be responsible for paying fewer medical fees than it is currently set up to pay. While lower income drivers would benefit directly from the changes, most Michigan residents are wary of the proposal.

Current Personal Injury Minimum Requirements

Right now, Michigan requires that all drivers carry enough personal injury protection to cover all of the injuries caused by a car accident. The high minimum is expensive, but it has reduced the number of personal injury claims being processed through the courts. As the current insurance requirements stand, the brunt of the expense of recovery from an injury caused by an accident lies with the driver who is held responsible for the accident. Since the coverage is high enough to protect drivers in the most serious injury cases, there are very few incidents of drivers or injured parties needing to resort to personal funds to cover medical costs.

Changes Would Make Insurance More Affordable

Lawmakers and insurance companies point out that requiring every driver to carry the maximum personal injury protection can put car insurance out of the reach of many drivers, especially in the current economic downturn. Michigan cities like Detroit have seen some of the worst economic problems in the nation over the last few years, with high unemployment across the state. Many residents are faced with the choice of driving uninsured or not driving at all because they can’t afford insurance. The proposed changes would provide more options for drivers who can’t afford the current system.

Concerns about Drivers Being Underinsured

The trouble with allowing people to reduce their insurance coverage is that they have a much higher risk of driving without enough coverage. Lower personal injury requirements could potentially shift the burden of medical payments from the at-fault driver to the victim of the accident. Once the driver’s insurance coverage is maxed out, the injured party would have to resort to paying their medical bills on their own or taking the driver to court for the remainder of the medical bills. Opponents of the changes worry that underinsured drivers are just as dangerous as uninsured drivers.

Polls Show Majority of Residents Oppose the Change

Several polls of Michigan residents show that they are not in favor of the changes. Even though the new insurance laws would save some residents money on their car insurance, they would eventually cost more for everyone involved because insurance would cover less. As the law stands today, Michigan residents can feel confident that their medical bills would be covered for life if they were injured in a car accident. They seem to be reticent to trade in that security for the opportunity to pay less for their car insurance coverage. According to the polls, Michigan residents feel that the proposed changes would only benefit the insurance companies and create a higher burden on drivers.

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