Senate approves Jones bill to cut auto insurance rates for seniors

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LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to reduce auto insurance rates for seniors in Michigan.

“Most seniors live on a fixed income and cannot afford Michigan’s skyrocketing auto insurance rates,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Our seniors have worked hard all their lives, and they deserve to have an option to choose a different auto insurance system they can afford and that works best for them. This legislation will do that without sacrificing necessary medical coverage in the case of an accident.”

In Michigan, when drivers turn age 65 and go on Medicare, their auto insurance rates go up because Medicare does not coordinate with Michigan auto insurance. Michigan’s auto insurance law includes unlimited coverage for catastrophic injuries with no cap. The other 49 states all have a cap.

Senate Bill 787 would allow Michigan residents age 65 or older the option to choose a capped auto-insurance policy. Seniors who opt for the limited coverage would see their catastrophic claims assessment drastically reduced. Medicare would cover remaining medical expenses after the $50,000 limit is reached.

The bill is tie-barred to SB 1014, which would make reforms to Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance law to help reduce costs and better protect customers in the state. It creates a new authority within the attorney general’s office to help investigate and reduce auto insurance fraud and caps benefits for people who have never paid into the no-fault system.

“I have supported auto insurance reform for 13 years for everyone,” Jones said. “As we try to make comprehensive auto insurance reform for everyone, a good place to start is helping reduce costs for our seniors.”

SBs 787 and 1014 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.