Sky-high insurance premiums: Detroit group pushing for change

Posted at 6:34 AM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 06:35:04-04

It’s a discussion Detroiters know all too well: sky-high insurance premiums.

Back in March a new group formed to reform insurance prices in the city of Detroit. That group, Detroit Alliance for Fair Auto Insurance, is holding their first roundtable discussion Monday night.

The meeting comes just days after a ProPublica report that urban minority neighborhoods could be paying as much as 30 percent more for car insurance, a report the insurance industry has called “flawed.”

State-to-state the exact factors of what factors into insurance rates vary. In most cases things such as mile driven, accident history, credit scores, occupation, gender and age are used.

“Detroit pays the highest insurance premiums in the country and it has to stop,” said Darell Reed, a pastor at Spirit of Love Church who is involved in the new Detroit Alliance for Fair Auto Insurance. “We have insurance companies charging Detroiters $5,000 a year for a policy and then the same driver can move just outside the city border and have their rates cut in half. If that’s not redlining then I don’t know what is.”

Reed has been vocal about his disapproval of how factors like driver’s credit scores are used to set insurance rates, but that’s just one of the items expected to be discussed at Monday’s meeting.

Monday’s meeting will be a town hall style discussion including the group that started Detroit Alliance for Fair Auto Insurance, medical workers, insurance providers, and victims of car accidents.

Those involved in the debate note that there is more at stake than high premiums. There is also a need for protections that high insurance costs provide, mainly assistance for accident victims.

Last month when the new group was announced Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones said she would be working with Detroit’s representatives in Lansing to find solutions for both issues.

“I pledge that I will be in constant contact with our Detroit delegation to make sure they know that this isn’t a one or the other situation,” said Jones. “We need reforms that both lower costs for Detroit drivers while also giving accident victims that care they need.”

The first town hall meeting will be held at the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church on Monday, May 8 at 7 p.m. You can find more events by visiting the group’s website: