LANSING, Mich. — After years of working to reform Michigan's auto insurance laws, legislators finally passed a bill in May.
Now House Democrats want to take a closer look at what insurance companies are doing while we all wait for the law to take effect.
House Democrats sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services asking them to investigate complaints from constituents who say their auto rates became higher after the bill became law.
"Have rates gone up? We've asked for that by county so that we can see if there has been a surge," said Rep. Christine Greig, (D), House Democratic Leader.
In May, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Senate bill that will guarantee lower rates for drivers but that won't happen until next year.
"It sure is very, very suspicious isn't it? We pass this new law. It doesn't take effect for the rate reductions until next year, and in the meantime, my constituent said his rates jumped 20 percent," said Leader Greig.
"What some of the Democrats in the House are suggesting is that some companies are inflating their prices so that the savings won't actually take place, but the savings that we mandated in the law are based on what their rates were on May 1," said Senator Tom Barrett, (R), Potterville.
Democrats also say new insurance companies have been popping up around the state to avoid the changes that would happen next July.
"The effective date is 2020 and 2021 so there is time to make changes to this law," said Leader Greig.
"At the end of the day, we voted to give people a choice in their auto insurance coverage. That was a good decision to make. We had the most expensive insurance in the entire country," said Senator Barrett.
Attorney General Dana Nessel was also copied on the letter.
There is no deadline specified in the letter; Democrats just ask for a "timely response."
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