Democrats to call for more state control over insurance rates

LANSING, MI – Democrats in the state Legislature and Governor Granholm's insurance advocate will call Monday for measures that they say will bring down the cost of auto coverage. The insurance industry has also released a plan for controlling premiums.

The Democrats' plan will call for an end using credit scores and education levels to set rates. Insurance Advocate Butch Hollowell and legislative Democrats say those factors have nothing do with how well drivers perform behind the wheel -- but they do help make Michigan's auto rates some of the highest the country. Their plan would also require insurance companies to offer a low-cost coverage option to customers.

The insurance industry has introduced its own plan for reducing rates. The industry says Michigan's unlimited coverage of medical expenses is why rates are so high -- and why 17% of drivers don't have coverage. The industry recommendations include allowing customers to buy less-expensive coverage that caps medical expenses at $50,000.