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Let's Make A Deal - And Keep It

April 30, 2009

Lansing, MI - When it comes to insurance rates, sometimes a deal is not a deal, even when both parties agree to it. State Representative Tory Rocca of Sterling Heights says that when Michigan consumers purchase auto or homeowner's insurance, 20 percent of the time companies raise rates within the six months or year the policy holder has already paid for.

Rocca says it's not fair, and he's introducing legislation today to the House Insurance Committee to make contracts binding for both sides.

"You'd think for at least the next six months or a year this is the rate you're going to be paying because you've agreed to this with your carrier, and you've already begun performing your part of the agreement. You would think that should at least be locked in for the time that you and your carrier have agreed to it."

Rocca says the practice of raising rates mid-contract is not only unfair, but it could have serious ramifications for homeowners, especially those who purchase a new home and must pay the entire yearly premium up front.

"What if the insurance carrier decides to cut that person's insurance off short of one year, because they decided to change the rates in the middle of the policy period? That could potentially have ramifications for the person's relationship with their mortgage company."

While opponents of Rocca's reform say rates are market driven, Rocca says consumers need to be protected, especially against unscrupulous insurance companies.

Tony Bruscato, Public News Service - MI