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Plan aimed at reducing auto insurance rates hits snag in Senate

Plan aimed at reducing auto insurance rates hits snag in Senate (FILE Photo)

LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - A plan aimed at reducing your auto insurance rate has hit a hurdle in the Michigan Senate.

Michigan lawmakers have been trying to bring down auto insurance rates for decades. But Senate Leader Arlan Meekhof is telling reporters that if the latest effort from the House Speaker includes price fixing, it is dead.

Republican Speaker Tom Leonard and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan are meeting behind closed doors to try and hammer out a plan to bring down expensive auto insurance rates.

The Speaker's spokesman says everything is on the table, including hospital fee schedules to bring down prices.

"We need to be open to every idea, because the top priority has to be seeing the costs come down for Michigan families. Right now, Michigan drivers are paying the highest rates for auto insurance in the country and it's not even close," said GOP House Communications Director Gideon D'Assandro.

The Detroit Mayor is considering a proposal to make insurance companies reduce their rates by 30 percent.

But not so fast, says Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof.

Sen. Arlan Meekhof / R-Senate Majority Leader

"Price fixing and fee schedules and things like that are not the place we need to start. In fact, they shouldn't be anywhere in the conversation. We need to reform this system to ensure it works the way it's intended," he said.

Several Republicans and Democrats in the House like the idea of making auto insurance companies bring down prices.

"I like the fact we can bring down premiums, that's the first proposal I'm all for because the taxpayers," said Rep. Pete Lucido (R-Shelby).

"Even if it's mandated?" we asked.

"The rate payers have been paying too much for way too long and somebody has got to be sensitive to the fact that families don't have this kind of money," Rep. Lucido said.

But if rate reduction mandates get to the Senate, Meekhof says the proposal is dead on arrival.

"There are serious cases of fraud. There's an opportunity to amend attending care and the assign claims act and those are great things, send them over to use and we'll get them done," he said.

"How do you guarantee auto insurance companies rollback their prices?" we asked.

"How do you guarantee any price on anything you buy? That's not our role," Sen. Mekhof said.

To be clear, the Speaker and Mayor have not yet unveiled their official plan to bring down auto insurance rates.

We are expecting a bill by the end of this month.

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