Bill to offer older Michigan drivers insurance price break advances

| 12/14/2006

Older motorists in Michigan could get a financial perk for sharpening their driving skills under a bill headed to Gov. Jennifer Granholm's desk.

The House gave final approval of a bill Dec. 13 that would allow automobile insurance companies to offer a premium discount to drivers who are 50 and older. The benefit would only apply to personal vehicles. Senate lawmakers endorsed the final version of the bill earlier this month.

Sponsored by Rep. Michael Nofs, R-Battle Creek, the measure - HB5661 - provides for the discount if a driver successfully completes a certified traffic safety course. The safety discount would last for three years. To extend the discount, people would need to retake the course.

"This bill provides two key benefits," Nofs said in a written statement. "First, it helps ensure that we have safe drivers on the road. Secondly, it allows those who take the initiative to keep their driving skills up-to-date, to receive a discount on their auto insurance."

A companion bill would require the Michigan Secretary of State to certify the safety course if it meets the criteria set in Nofs' bill.

Sponsored by Rep. Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit, the companion bill - HB5663 - is in the Senate Transportation Committee. The House approved it 102-3.