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Auto insurance reform in Michigan: U-M experts can discuss what it means for low-income residents

University of Michigan Poverty Solutions experts are available to discuss what Michigan lawmakers’ auto insurance reform would mean for low-income Michiganders.

The auto insurance reform deal state lawmakers announced today incorporates Poverty Solutions’ recommendations to drop mandatory unlimited personal injury protection coverage, enforce fee limits for medical care related to injury accidents, and restrict the use of gender, marital status, zip code, credit score, homeownership, education level or occupation as factors in setting auto insurance rates.

Poverty Solutions’ research found auto insurance premiums are unaffordable for residents in 97% of Michigan’s zip codes. The expense disproportionately affects people with low incomes, and the average auto insurance premium for Detroit residents is roughly twice the statewide average, which already is the most expensive in the country.

U-M experts are:


Joshua RiveraJoshua Rivera, senior data and policy analyst, can comment on the policy recommendations made in Poverty Solutions’ study on auto insurance and economic mobility.

“The proposed legislation incorporates many of the policy changes our study recommended,” he said. “Eliminating mandatory personal injury protection is critical to lowering costs, and restricting the use of nondriving factors to set rates reduces the potential for discrimination based on factors like zip code, gender, credit score or marital status.”

Contact: 773-206-7723,  


Patrick CooneyPatrick Cooney, assistant director of Poverty Solutions’ Detroit Partnership on Economic Mobility, can comment on what the reform means for Detroiters.

“This legislation promises relief for Detroiters, who face the highest auto insurance rates in the country, limiting their economic opportunity,” he said. “More affordable auto insurance puts legal car ownership within reach of more low-income families and means fewer uninsured drivers will be on the road. Families can use their savings on other necessities like healthy food, quality housing, and higher education.”

Contact: 248-798-6421,


Auto insurance and poverty in Michigan