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Dan Gilbert made headlines this week when he issued an ultimatum to state lawmakers: Find a fix for Michigan’s broken no-fault auto insurance system by mid-2019 or I’ll bankroll an effort to put a proposal on the statewide ballot in 2020.

On today’s show, Jer interviews Jared Fleisher, vice president of government relations for the Quicken Loans Family of Companies, about why Gilbert and Quicken are jumping into the fray.

Fleisher, who is running point for Gilbert’s push to overhaul no-fault, says Quicken has 17,000 employees working in the city and has invested $3.5 billion to date in Detroit. He calls auto insurance reform “the single biggest but also most solvable barrier to the growth of the city.”

He also draws a comparison between Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system and the much-criticized Obamacare health overhaul. Fleisher says that while the Affordable Care Act requires people to buy insurance, it offers them a choice of benefit levels to pay for. Michigan’s auto insurance law similarly requires that every driver be covered, but it essentially forces everyone to buy the top-tier “platinum” level of benefits.

We spoke last month on the pod with attorney Steve Gursten, the head of Michigan Auto Law, all about Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s recent federal lawsuit accusing it of being unconstitutional. Gursten argues that Duggan’s suit has a real chance of prevailing, but he says it’s tough to know how to fix the law without more transparency into insurance company practices.

Many previous efforts to reform Michigan’s no-fault system have run into a brick wall, but now it seems no-fault may be on a collision course with the forces of change.

Detroit Podcast
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