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Bill would stop insurance price hikes from road damage claims

Zsolt Palatinus

A bill in the state house would block insurance companies from increasing car insurance premiums on drivers who have made claims for damage caused by Michigan’s failing roads.

Lawmakers behind the bill say the state’s roads have been underfunded and poorly maintained and residents shouldn’t be punished for driving on them.

Democratic State Representative John Chirkun is the bill sponsor. He said his constituents have had to get 1 - 2 thousand dollar car repairs because of potholes.

“The constituents of Michigan are getting tired of that because when they put one or two claims in the insurance companies want to raise their rates right away.”

Chirkun said there could be room to negotiate with insurance companies… maybe by allowing a set number of claims per driver before rates can go up.

“They do it after the first or second claim depending on what insurance company it is. I don’t think that’s fair. I think they should at least give a time table where it might be three or four before they do anything for you.”

Chrikun said he is hopeful that a state budget surplus this year will go towards fixing roads. But in the meantime, he said lawmakers can and should do more to protect Michigan drivers.

The legislation is currently pending before the House Insurance Committee.