MAKING PROGRESS

Dear Larry Barnett, Jr., Thank you for your email expressing your concern about proposed changes to our state’s no-fault automobile insurance system. I appreciate your input – it is always a pleasure to hear from concerned citizens on issues that matter deeply to them. I am writing to let you know that I will not be supporting Senate Bill 248 and 249, the two bills that attempt to “reform” our current auto no-fault system. The bills recently narrowly passed through the House Committee on Insurance and may be taken up for consideration by the full House of Representatives at any time. I do not feel that the changes these bills seek to make are in the best interests of our state’s motorists or that they do enough to protect individuals injured in auto accidents. Under our current no-fault system, drivers in Michigan have peace of mind knowing that if they are ever in a catastrophic accident, their medical bills will be covered for the rest of their lives. However, in its current state, SB 248 would create an unstable and ineffective auto no-fault system. While the bill promises rate reductions of $100 per year per driver for the first two years after it goes into effect, it does not guarantee a long-term rate reduction in auto insurance premiums or guarantee that the rate of premium increases or insurance profits will be controlled in the future. It does not include provisions that would protect consumers from potential fraud by insurance companies. At the same time, the provisions in these bills would potentially severely limit insurance benefits for individuals who are injured in catastrophic auto accidents, making it more difficult for these individuals to get the care they need. Michigan’s voters have voted twice before to reject changes to our state’s auto no-fault system at the polls. The plan contained in SB 248 and 249 would seek to deny you the opportunity to overturn the changes it proposes at the polls, as it includes a $150,000 appropriation. Bills that include appropriations are referendum-proof; under Michigan law voters cannot vote on appropriations. I fully support finding a solution to reducing auto insurance premiums for the citizens of our state, however, I do not believe that we should do so by sacrificing coverage, quality of care, and denying you an opportunity to have your voice heard. I believe the changes proposed here amount to handouts for the state’s insurance companies at the expense of our state’s citizens. As such, I will be voting no on both of these bills if they ever come up for consideration by the full House. Again, thank you for expressing your concerns about this issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any additional questions or input you might have about this or any other matter. Sincerely, Vanessa Guerra State Representative 95th District

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