Voters express overwhelming support for no-fault reform

Majority believe Michigan auto insurance premiums are too high

Lansing, Mich. – According to a recent statewide poll commissioned by the Coalition for Auto Insurance Reform (CAIR), an overwhelming number of Michigan voters believe their auto insurance premiums are too high and support no-fault reform legislation that would lower their auto insurance costs.

Rates are too high

The poll revealed that voters are concerned about the high cost auto insurance – 70 percent said their auto insurance premiums were too high.

Auto Premiums Pie Chart

The belief that auto insurance rates are too high is shared by voters across all age groups, political parties and beliefs, especially among the following demographics:

  • 88 percent of Detroiters
  • 75 percent blue collar workers
  • 79 percent lower to middle income ($30k-$50k per year)
  • 74 percent conservatives

“Michigan’s No-Fault system is in desperate need of reform,” said Wendy Block, Director of Health Policy and Human Resources at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “The cost of auto insurance is hurting our economic recovery. Too many consumers can afford to buy a car but cannot afford the insurance.”

Support for reform

The poll tested reforms being considered by the governor and the legislature that would lower the costs of no-fault insurance by asking the voters if they would support reforms that:

  • Established a $1 million lifetime coverage limit on medical coverage
  • Established rules to prevent medical providers from charging auto accident victims more than they charge other health insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield for the same services
  • Established a fraud bureau to fight auto insurance fraud

The survey found strong majorities across all geographic regions of the state support no-fault reform legislation with 67 percent supporting the reform package and only 18 percent opposing. The strongest support for the proposed no-fault reform legislation came from young voters with 75 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 34 supporting the reforms. Sixty-eight percent of voters between the ages of 35 and 54, and 64 percent of voters 55 or older support no-fault reform legislation.

Support_No_Fault_Reform_Bar_Graph_Age

Support_No_Fault_Reform_Bar_Graph_Voting_Behavior

Voters from both sides of the aisle agree that something needs to be done about Michigan’s skyrocketing auto insurance costs. Seventy-seven percent of Republicans support no-fault reform legislation that would lower costs for consumers, while 57 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of Independents also support no-fault reform.

“The voters support reasonable reforms that protect our no-fault system while lowering costs,” said Rob Fowler, President and CEO at the Small Business Association of Michigan.

The findings of the survey show that voters clearly understand the importance of no-fault reform legislation.

“To promote a more competitive environment for our state’s job providers and ensure the continuation of the economic recovery, Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system must be reformed,” said Delaney McKinley, Director of Human Resource Policy for the Michigan Manufacturers Association.

Other Key Findings

  • When voters are informed of the costs connected to family attendant care (some families are being paid $200,000 – $300,000 per year) and how this legislation would limit those costs, 75 percent now say they’d be more likely to support the proposal (52 percent strongly).
  • When voters hear about the mandated rate reductions of $125 – $150 per car, 74 percent are more likely to support the legislation (51 percent strongly).
  • When voters learn that the current no-fault law requires auto insurance claimants to pay the highest rate for care and that this legislation would limit those costs, 72 percent say they would be more likely to support it (49 percent strongly).
  • When voters learn that the $1 million limit on personal injury protection (PIP) benefits will cover more than 99.5 percent of all accidents, 67 percent say they are more likely to support it (41 percent strongly).

The Coalition for Auto Insurance Reform (CAIR) includes: Michigan Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA), Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA), Michigan Professional Insurance Agents (MPIA), Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM), National Federation of Independent Business–Michigan (NFIB Michigan), Insurance Institute of Michigan (IIM), and Michigan Insurance Coalition (MIC).

Actual wording of reform question

The legislature may soon consider a new law to reform no-fault auto insurance and lower auto insurance costs in Michigan. The legislation would:

  1. Set the lifetime limit for auto accident medical coverage at $1 million per person,
  2. Establish cost controls for medical expenses and prohibit health care providers from collecting higher fees from auto insurance companies than those paid by health insurance like Blue Cross and workers comp for the same care,
  3. Establish a state authority to fight auto insurance fraud and fund local law enforcement and prosecutors to arrest and convict those guilty of fraud.

Do you (ROTATE: support or oppose) this legislation?

(IF SUPPORT/OPPOSE ASK: Do you strongly (support/oppose) it or just somewhat (support/oppose) it?)

Strongly support: 43%
Somewhat support: 24%
Neither support nor oppose: 6%
Somewhat oppose: 10%
Strongly oppose: 8%
Don’t know (Volunteered): 9%
Refused (Volunteered): 0%

TOTAL SUPPORT: 67%
TOTAL OPPOSE: 18%

###

Marketing Resource Group’s Spring 2013 MRG Michigan Poll was conducted March 17 through March 23. All interviews were conducted live, by professionally trained telephone interviewers. The random sample, consisting of 600 likely voters who will be voting in the November general election. Given the samples size and sampling process, the survey has a margin of error of ±4 percentage points or less within a 95 percent degree of confidence.

The poll sample is stratified by statewide voter turnout and is geographically representative of general election voter turnout in Michigan. Twenty percent of the interviews were conducted on cell phones, to better represent that demographic. Those respondents were manually dialed, contacted and interviewed on their cell-phones and they indicated that they do not have a land line telephone in their homes.