Michigan auto fee rising to $192 per vehicle in July - WNEM TV 5

Michigan auto fee rising to $192 per vehicle in July

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LANSING, MI (WNEM/AP) -

Michigan's mandatory fee to cover unlimited medical benefits for injured drivers is rising to $192 a year.

The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association announced the higher assessment Thursday. It is now $170 annually per insured vehicle.

The organization says the fee hike is due to higher-than-expected claims, partially offset by better-than-expected investment returns.

The fee revenue largely covers care for people with brain, spinal cord, back and neck injuries.

Michigan is the only state to require unlimited lifetime coverage for medical expenses resulting from auto crashes. The Legislature has been at odds over proposals to rein in costs.

"It's like, we pay enough. Why," said Teresa Meyer, driver.

She and her husband love traveling up to Mackinaw for the weekend, but said the cost of their insurance along with other expenses for their car can make it a hassle.

"It's just not fair. It's not fair. It's like Michigan is the only state that has these high insurance premiums," Meyer said.

She is not wrong. Michigan has had the highest car insurance rates for several years now. That's because Michigan drivers pay for unlimited, lifetime medical benefits for injuries sustained in catastrophic car accidents.

The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Associations said the increase is because of higher claims costs.

But residents like Teri Nichols aren't buying it.

"What, we're all a hazard out on the roads? I haven't had a claim on my vehicle, knock on wood, for over 20 years," Nichols said.

It's a frustration felt across the state with legislators routinely proposing changes to the system over the years, but to no avail.

For many motorists, the rising  costs might become too much to bear.

"It's horrendous. But I mean, what are you gonna do? If we have to pay it, we have to pay it. Or we have to move to another state," Meyer said.

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