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Empowering consumers when buying auto insurance

February 28, 2015 by Steven M. Gursten

The insurance commissioner needs to bring back annual publication of ‘Buyers’ Guide To Auto Insurance’; pricing for 60 auto insurers in 16 cities

Over the last several days, I’ve talked about 13 of the 14 actions in my 14-step “Action Plan” for lowering auto insurance prices for Michigan consumers.

In broad terms, I’ve discussed:

Today, in the final installment in this series, I will address the last idea I have in my plan for making auto insurance more affordable for the people in this state, while keeping intact the incredible legal protections No Fault affords seriously injured car accident victims:

  • Empowering consumers to make informed choices about auto insurance.

There’s one simple thing that can and should be done now to help consumers to purchase auto insurance at an affordable price. The Insurance Commissioner (i.e., the Director of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS)) needs to:

Resume publication of the ‘Buyers’ Guide to Auto Insurance’

It’s ironic – not to mention disappointing – that the most helpful publication that I’ve ever found for Michigan’s auto insurance consumers has been discontinued.

In years past, the Michigan Insurance Commissioner published a “Buyers’ Guide to Auto Insurance.” That guide was a fantastic  resource for consumers shopping for the best price.

Specifically, the “Buyers’ Guide” provided auto insurance prices for four hypothetical auto insurance consumers (i.e., single, married couple without kids, married couple with kids and a retired couple) from approximately 60 Michigan auto insurance companies in each of 16 major Michigan cities.

The annual Guide was last published in 2008 by the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR), a predecessor to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). The “Buyers’ Guide” was also published in 2007 and according to press releases, in 2004 and 2003.

Inexplicably, none of the “Buyers’ Guides” are any longer available on the DIFS website.

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