U of M Flint professor says high claim totals, lawsuits to blame for high auto insurance rates

GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT)- (04/16/19)- "They're terrible, they're too high." said Michigan driver, Steve Cameron.

If you live in Michigan, you already know, auto insurances premiums are ridiculously high, but a recent study by the insurance research firm, The Zebra, shows drivers in here in Mid Michigan pay the highest outside of Detroit. .

"Oh it doesn't surprise me at all. I've been paying high insurance forever. They either give on my insurance, but I know North Carolina pays half of what we pay." Cameron said.

Steve Cameron lives in Clio, where the average driver in the zip code 48420, pays $2,748 for auto insurance.

The Vehicle City tops the list in Mid Michigan. Drivers who live in the 48502 zip code pay an average of $3907.

"It boils down to how many claims and the amount of claims per zip code. So the more claims a zip code has, the higher premiums." said U of M Flint Economic Chair, Chris Douglas.

Douglas explains what else is driving up the cost.

"Michigan has some unique aspects of auto insurance, that other states don't have. For instance Michigan has unlimited personal injury protection in the event of a car accident. That if you are in an accident, your auto insurance has to cover a limited medical expenses where as most states have a cap," Douglas said.

Douglas says there are things that could be done to bring down the cost.

"You could try to tackle auto thefts, that's difficult to do. But other states manage to do it so it's not clear why Michigan has such a problem with it. Michigan can also reform no fault so that there is a fee scheduled for providers must pay so that hospitals and other providers can't just charge the insurance companies what they want,"

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