State News

State to insurers: Stop playing games with reform that lets drivers cut costs

July 11, 2020, 9:35 AM

If your vehicle insurer says you can't take immediate advantage of a money-saving change in state law, it's a lie.

That blunt truth comes from a Lansing official who just sent a reality-check reminder to insurance companies, the Freep reports:

The state's top insurance regulator is raising the alarm about auto insurance companies that are wrongly telling drivers to wait months before they are allowed to update their policies and take advantage of Michigan's new and cheaper coverage options.

Anita Fox, director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), issued a formal bulletin Wednesday to insurance companies that described how some auto insurers are preventing customers from making changes to their policies until their next renewal period, forcing them to wait as long as six months or more.

The bulletin says that is improper behavior, because under Michigan law, auto insurers must give customers one of two options at any time:

  • The option of modifying an existing policy.

  • The option to cancel and reissue their policy to reflect the new coverage choices.

Drtivers complain this week about claims to the contrary in a Detroit forum on Reddit, where one posts: "How come my agent (State Farm) is saying we have to wait til the policy is up in November before we can make any changes?"

Another comment on that thread says: "My agent upped my bodily injury [limit] and kept my PIP [personal injury protection] the same." A Redditor replies: "This is quite possibly illegal as you didn't ask for increases and you could report them. I would look for a new insurance company."

Here's a four-and-a-half-minute state primer on the revised law that took effect July 1:

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