Auto insurance

‘Detroit Rising’ podcast: Duggan talks regional transit, car insurance ‘scams’ spreading, his wait-and-see approach to governor’s race

Six days before Duggan won a landslide re-election over state Sen. Coleman Young II, the Michigan House of Representatives handed the mayor a big defeat in voting down his no-fault auto insurance reforms.

He and Republican House Speaker Tom Leonard had sought a major change in the law that would have allowed drivers to opt out of mandatory lifetime medical coverage for the personal injury protection (PIP) portion of auto insurance — the most expensive part of insurance premiums in Michigan.

Duggan thinks it’s just a matter of time before lawmakers adopt his proposal as the number of PIP-related lawsuits continues to escalate and more drivers turn to seven-day insurance plans to legally evade mandatory continuous auto insurance coverage.

“We’re climbing Mount Everest and we’re getting higher and higher,” Duggan said. “Two years ago, we were 15 votes away. This time we were three votes away. We’ll get over the top.”

Duggan bristles at any suggestion that he and Leonard and House Insurance Committee Chairwoman Lena Theis tried to go too far in their reform proposal.

“PIP choice is where the savings is,” Duggan said. “It was the crux of the deal.”

Duggan continues to deploy a strategy aimed at convincing suburban lawmakers that Detroit’s highest-in-the-nation auto insurance premiums is their problem, too.

“I tell ya, the other day, I was driving on Gratiot at 11 Mile in Roseville and there was a sign on the window in LA Insurance — ‘Seven-Day policy sold here,'” Duggan said. “It is the first time I have ever seen LA Insurance selling their seven-day policy outside (of) the city of Detroit.”

LA Insurance, which has been battling state regulators over its seven-day policies, has address listings of eleven stores in Macomb County, nine in suburban Wayne County and five in Oakland County. The company’s CEO has said they have some 30 storefronts in Detroit alone.

“Now, the same scams that have been run on Detroiters for years, that suburban legislators smugly said is a Detroit problem, are spreading,” Duggan said. “… I think it’s ineviditable that we’re going to get this done.”

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