GENERIC: Steering wheel

The overhaul of Michigan’s decades-old auto insurance law is set to take effect on Wednesday, July 1 in an effort to lower the state’s highest-in-the-nation insurance rates.

But not everyone is excited for the change.

Critics of the new law are voicing fears that the prospect of saving some money could leave many Michigan drivers vulnerable and without coverage in the event of a catastrophic crash.

“People don’t get to choose their accident. You don’t know ahead of time how much coverage you really need depending on what might happen to you or a member of your family,” said Laura Appel, senior vice president of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

The MHHA has launched the “Big Changes Ahead” campaign. Part of that initiative is a website designed to inform people about the state’s auto reform law that takes effect this week.

“We really wanted people to understand what the changes are to the law and what’s available to you, and to encourage people to think hard about what they could afford and think in the context of what they might need,” Appel said.

The options include the following:

Keep unlimited personal injury protection

Carry up to $500,000 in coverage

Set a $250,000 limit

Have $250,000 in coverage with some or all persons excluded from PIP

Choosing $50,000 if you’re enrolled in Medicaid and meet other requirements

Or opt out of PIP all together

Appel wants motorists to know just because the auto reform law will take effect soon, that doesn’t mean you need to make a decision on the amount of personal injury protection you carry right away.

“Your opportunity to change your coverage could be exercised now or you can wait until your insurance renews at its next renewal,” Appel said.

Appel said the MHHA believes everyone should keep unlimited PIP.

“It’s just the only option that really truly provides for extensive post-acute assistance,” Appel said.

If people decide on another choice, Appel is hoping they make an educated decision by talking to their auto insurance agent and visiting this website.

“Think hard about just how much you’re saving in exchange for the things that your family could need if someone, if many someones are seriously injured,” Appel said.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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