Detroit mayor Mike Duggan has joined several residents in filing a federal lawsuit over Michigan’s rules on no-fault auto insurance.
The Detroit News reported that the lawsuit was filed Thursday against the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services director Patrick McPharlin. The suit alleges that the no-fault auto insurance system has led to excessively high rates. The plaintiffs have also declared the system “unconstitutional” in their suit, since the no-fault system requires unlimited personal injury protection benefits, does not stipulate a fee schedule for medical services for auto accident-related injuries, and allows healthcare providers to charge as high as they want for procedures.
Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Andrea Miller told The Associated Press that the department’s officials are reviewing the complaint.
Eighteen residents had originally filed the lawsuit, but Mayor Duggan later joined "to protect the rights of all Detroit residents," the document said.
"This law is causing thousands of people across Michigan to break the law by driving without insurance because they simply can no longer afford it," Duggan commented. "We are asking the court to provide residents the relief they need from these unjustifiably high insurance rates."
According to the lawsuit, Michigan’s average auto insurance premium is over $3,000 – compared to the national average of just $1,500. Detroit, in particular, has the highest auto insurance rate of any US city, the lawsuit continued, with residents paying an average of approximately $6,200 for insurance.
The lawsuit has requested the court to give the state six months to change the system; if a compromise cannot be reached, the plaintiffs have called for shift to the tort system for auto insurance claims.
"If that deadline is not met, the No-Fault Act should be deemed null and void and the tort system, used by a significant majority of states, should be reinstated," the lawsuit read.