House panel OKs bill to reduce Michigan auto ins. rates

LANSING (AP) — A bill advancing in Michigan’s Legislature would require lower auto insurance premiums for all drivers while making it optional to buy unlimited medical benefits.

The Republican-controlled House Insurance Committee approved the legislation 9-5 Thursday. It moves to the House floor, where many lawmakers have concerns with the measure.

In an effort to gain more support, legislators amended the bill Thursday to provide guaranteed rate relief to all motorists, not just those who choose the lowest level of personal injury protection — $250,000. Those picking $500,000 or unlimited coverage levels would see premiums reductions, too.

Seniors could refuse PIP and have Medicare or private insurance cover their care for auto injuries.

Insurers oppose government-imposed rate rollbacks, while health providers and others want to keep intact Michigan’s unique mandatory unlimited medical benefits.