Detroit Mayor, Mike Duggan, recently sued the state for no-fault insurance, calling it unconstitutional.
According to the lawsuit, the mandatory system of no-fault auto insurance violates Michiganders constitutional rights because of how high the prices are. The suit also says Michigan’s auto insurance premium is more than double of the national average cost. Where it’s $3,059 for us, the average across the country is only $1,512.
Furthermore, the lawsuit argues the extreme costs dramatically affects Detroit’s population since driver pay on average $6,197 a year for coverage alone.
Gladys Noble, a Detroit resident, says it’s between putting food on her table or pay the high insurance rate. Noble is a 76-year-old retiree who lives on a fixed income.
She along with several others are suing the state for the no-fault insurance law. They claim it discriminates against the poor.
Mayor Duggan says there are a lot of people in Michigan making between $10 and $12 an hour. Many have to drive to work illegally because they have no other choice.
The transit system doesn’t always work and the fact many can’t afford car insurance is the crux of the situation. The plaintiffs claim they are being denied their civil rights by having the insurance rates this high.
The Detroit Mayor and His Fight for Fair Insurance Prices
The mayor has been a proponent of insurance reform for a long time in Detroit where many lack insurance due to the high cost. Duggan even announced his proposal last year to fight the high insurance rates. The plan, however, was defeated.
The Detroit Mayor filed his lawsuit in federal court this past Thursday. The Supreme Court of Michigan stated 40 years ago since no-fault insurance was a necessity for all drivers, the state made sure it was available on a fair and equal basis. They claim the rates are not excessive or discriminatory towards any group of people.
The lawsuit asks the court to put Lansing on the clock. It demands the governor and legislature improve the insurance system within a six month period. The effort, however, is not without critics.
Sherry Gay Dagnogo, Detroit State Representative, says she thinks it’s essential we understand the importance of looking into the core challenges and issues which is redlining.
Dagnogo says moving forward with a lawsuit that only addresses the issue of unaffordability being unconstitutional and blaming the trial lawyers, is a disingenuous move.
Even if it’s unfair, drivers want lower insurance costs and will take it however they can get it.
Those for the no-fault system look towards the benefits that go along with it. These benefits are: all medical care for life, wage loss for up to three years, replacement services, medical mileage, and at-home care. All that, however, does, of course, come with a price.
In a tort state, auto insurance rates can drop by over half overnight, Steve Gursten of Michigan Auto Law says. No-fault is excellent, although it is often expensive. People don’t tend to understand the benefits it offers until it’s too late and they become injured in an accident.