Proos says auto insurance reform needed to drive down costs

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Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan needs serious reform to reduce automobile insurance rates that are unaffordable for many drivers and are threatening the state’s economic growth, said Sen. John Proos.

“Drivers in Michigan are currently paying the country’s third highest car insurance premiums, which are increasing four times faster than the national average,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “As a border senator, I know all too well the terrible impact that high insurance costs have on the choices that Southwest Michigan families and job providers have to face.”

The latest report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners measured the combined average premium costs for coverage in 2014 — the most recent year for which complete data is available. Michigan’s average premium was $1,351, which was roughly $370 more than the national average of $982 and nearly double the premiums paid by drivers in our neighboring states of Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“One of the most common concerns I hear from Southwest Michigan residents is the high cost of auto insurance in our state,” Proos said. “That is why I supported car insurance reforms in 2015 that would have placed a reasonable ceiling on reimbursement rates for insurance companies, and why I am encouraged we are once again looking at finally addressing this issue.”

The 2015 plan passed by the Senate would have strengthened transparency for citizens coping with insurance claims, ensured those covered under the previous system continue to receive their same benefits and created a statewide authority to decrease fraud.

Proos said that the Michigan House recently introduced a new auto insurance reform plan.

“We must make long-overdue auto insurance changes to give much-needed relief to Michigan drivers,” Proos said. “As we discuss how to best drive down costs, my goal is to achieve real reforms that recognize the tremendous burden that Michigan ratepayers face when insuring their vehicles while also continuing to provide drivers with the best medical benefits in the country.”

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/audio.