The projected PIP savings are based on the first six auto insurance company filings approved by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan motorists, on average, can expect big savings on a key part of their auto insurance bills.

Filings from Michigan auto insurance companies show savings for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage that not only equals, but exceeds, the savings promised under an auto insurance reform package signed into law in May 2019, Whitmer said in a news release.

The law, which takes effect for policies that issue or renew after July 1, promised savings in PIP coverage of at least 10% to 45%, depending on what size of coverage was purchased. Actual savings on PIP coverage will range from 16.5% to 54.3%, the release said.

The projected PIP savings are based on the first six auto insurance company filings approved by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, representing one quarter of Michigan's auto insurance market, the release said. It did not specify which six companies were included in the analysis.

“This is great news for Michigan drivers and their families,” Whitmer said. “Last year, we worked across the aisle to pass a historic, bipartisan auto insurance reform to bring down costs for drivers everywhere. It’s great to see that it’s paying off for Michiganders, especially during a time when drivers may need extra money in their pockets."

Still, a recent report commissioned by the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault, a Michigan group known as CPAN, which analyzed early filings, said the insurance companies are not lowering their own pricing, despite enjoying lower costs under the new system. Instead, they are relying entirely on cuts to the annual $220-per-vehicle catastrophic claims fee to achieve the law's mandated price reductions, according to the report by Douglas Heller, a California-based insurance consultant.

This catastrophic claims fee — set by a state association — goes toward the lifetime medical care of the worst-injured accident victims.

Since Michigan law no longer requires unlimited catastrophic medical coverage, that fee drops to $100 for those who choose to continue with unlimited medical benefits and disappears for drivers who pick options besides unlimited personal injury protection.

Laura Hall, a spokeswoman for the department, could not immediately say whether the projected savings were drawn from calculations that included cuts to the catastrophic claims fee.