Michigan Senate cements auto insurance as top priority in first bill (SB 1)

Overhauling the state’s auto insurance laws is Senate Republicans’ top priority in 2019, although initial specifics on how they might do it were sparse as lawmakers prepare to hash out details in the committee process.

Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, will be the vehicle bill for the Senate as proposals to update Michigan’s insurance policies. Amber McCann, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, said the bill would be updated as senators consider options for lowering auto insurance rates.

“Rather than to put out a bill that already has specifically what we are going to do and what we are not going to do, the caucus does not want to limit themselves,” she said.

Michigan has no-fault auto insurance, and every driver is required to buy auto insurance. When an accident results in serious injury, lifetime medical expenses over $555,000 are covered by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, which reimburses the person’s auto insurer for those costs. To provide that, the MCCA currently assesses a fee of $192 per vehicle.