State, City, Community Leaders Encourage Uninsured Drivers to Take Advantage of Expiring Auto Insurance Amnesty Period

Media Contact: Laura Hall, 517-290-3779, DIFS-Press@michigan.gov
Consumer Hotline: 833-ASK-DIFS (833-275-3437), Michigan.gov/AutoInsurance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 30, 2021

(LANSING, MICH) With the January 1, 2022 deadline looming, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Director Anita Fox, and Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony held a press conference today to urge Michiganders to take advantage of the state's uninsured motorist amnesty period, a key consumer protection that has already allowed more than 100,000 previously uninsured Michiganders buy penalty-free auto insurance.

"For years, Detroiters were burdened with the most expensive auto insurance in the nation," said Mayor Duggan. "One of the most powerful aspects of the reforms the Governor and Legislature approved two years ago was to ability to allow previously uninsured drivers to purchase insurance without penalty or increased premiums. We are strongly encouraging any uninsured Detroiter thinking about purchasing auto insurance coverage to do it before January 1, 2022, the date the amnesty period runs out."

"Prior to the amnesty period, drivers who had let their insurance lapse faced potentially expensive penalties and fees if they later tried to purchase an auto insurance policy," said Director Fox. "The amnesty period ensures that those fees will not be charged if the driver applies for a policy before the January 1, 2022 deadline. After the deadline, those fees can once again be charged, so now is the time to take advantage of this important consumer protection. With all these new protections, choices, and savings, there has never been a better time to shop for auto insurance coverage in Michigan."

"The cost of insurance is a problem that has plagued Detroiters for years. Any effort to make insurance more affordable is indeed a welcome change for the people in this city," said Reverend Dr. Anthony. "The Amnesty program provides an opportunity to eliminate financial penalties and unnecessary costs to folks already paying high costs for everything just to live. The Amnesty will expire on January 1, 2022. We encourage people to sign up today before this doorway to reduce the burden of high insurance costs is closed. Too many Detroiters are still without insurance. It is still not all that we want it to be. But it is certainly better than it used to be."

"Under the old law, my auto insurance was more than $550 a month, despite my clean driving record, and I was willing to take the risk of driving uninsured," said Krysten Jones, 35, of Detroit. "I knew I could sign up for coverage without paying fees or penalties, so I signed up for a policy at midnight when the new law went into effect, and my rates immediately dropped by nearly $400 a month. I was recently in an accident and I'm thankful that I was able to get this coverage before I needed it without paying fees or penalties. I encourage everyone to get covered as soon as possible."

Before Governor Whitmer signed the bipartisan auto insurance reform law in 2019, an estimated 20% of Michiganders, and approximately 60% of Detroiters, were believed to be driving without insurance. The amnesty period gives those who have allowed their auto insurance coverage to lapse the opportunity to purchase a policy without facing penalties or increased premiums if they apply for coverage with a licensed insurance agent or insurance company before the January 1, 2022 deadline.

Consumers who have questions about the new law, including the amnesty period, should contact DIFS Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or by emailing autoinsurance@michigan.gov. Consumers can also find a listing of frequently asked questions, tips for shopping for insurance, and an insurance locator to help find licensed agents by visiting Michigan.gov/AutoInsurance.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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