Auto insurance law touted as battle over reform echoes on third anniversary

Insurance providers and business groups praised state leaders this past week on the three-year anniversary of the signing of Michigan’s historic auto no-fault reform, the latest parry in a continuing lobbyist battle over the future of the controversial reform. 

The letter to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Republican House Speaker Jason Wentworth and GOP Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey touted the recent $400 rebates to Michigan drivers, lower auto insurance costs, upticks in newly insured drivers and the entry of new insurance companies in the marketplace.

“Bipartisan auto no-fault reforms have cracked down on fraud, stopped the overcharging and finally gave Michigan consumers a choice,” according to the letter from groups that included the Insurance Alliance of Michigan, Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. 

The letter came on the third anniversary of Whitmer’s signing the bill into law on Mackinac Island in 2019 and as the benefits of the reform continue to be debated.

As recently as last month, groups opposing the law’s fee cut for medical providers sent a letter to Whitmer asking her to advocate more forcefully for changes to the 2019 law. A Republican lawmaker surprised her colleagues with an unannounced hearing on changes to the reform, causing several to walk out.  And billboards at interchanges near the Michigan Capitol have carried warring messages for several weeks over the benefits and faults of the no-fault reform.