Detroiters Ought to Rally Behind Duggan&#39s D-Insurance coverage Proposal

It is without question that Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan putting the limelight on insurance redlining in his first State of the City Tackle is sending chills down the spinal cord of the powerful insurance lobby, the Insurance Institute of Michigan, which has currently cautioned the mayor in a letter stating that it would be a tough task to develop D-Insurance for residents due to the fact Detroit will have to cover the claims. The group even offered to assist. Very ironic. We’ll see what that assist means and whether or not it slows the procedure down and seduces these concerned in the venture to drink what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the tranquilizing drug of gradualism, do-nothingism and standstillism.”

And if you are familiar with the Insurance Institute of Michigan, you know that it is a really influential curiosity group that is the government and public affairs voice of a lot more than 90 house/casualty insurance businesses, a mainstay in Lansing politics, that above the years has opposed nearly every single hard work to end insurance redlining in urban centers: Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and other people underneath the pretext that the issue is not the higher insurance coverage rates, rather it is density and car thefts that are to be blamed for Detroiters paying out exorbitant prices. There have been numerous times when Linda Waters, the former commissioner, the Workplace of Financial and Insurance coverage Solutions for Michigan, battled with the Insurance Institute of Michigan over lowering costs.

But now the difficulty individuals who are afraid of this prospective seismic shift in the high quality of daily life for every person who calls Detroit house have to understand is that Duggan was not elected by the Insurance Institute of Michigan or the potent interests, who would stand in the way of the city last but not least been relieved from the shackles of redlining that has forced them into substandard living.

“It is not justified. It does not matter if you have a best driving record and never been in an accident. Most Detroiters are paying out much more a month for car insurance than the car payment itself,” Duggan put it bluntly in his State of the City Tackle.

You can earn the same salary as your buddy in Royal Oak or Ann Arbor, but since you live in Detroit, your top quality of existence decreases and becomes unbearable since you are paying out thousands of bucks in car insurance, when your pals, by the change of a zip code, are paying hundreds of dollars significantly less in month to month premiums. That is the unfortunate reality of insurance redlining in Detroit.

So I help Duggan’s push to change this unfair equation and to handle what has been at the core of the city’s top quality of lifestyle. If Detroit is going to come back, it will consider far more than just erecting buildings and bringing companies downtown. It will have to be a location that people can get in touch with property without possessing to sacrifice other living essentials to do so.

In pressing on with D-Insurance, Duggan is trying to keep his campaign guarantee, and it is extraordinary that the mayor hasn’t waited till 2 or 3 years into his tenure to do so as most politicians would do in purchase to milk votes for re-election. The mayor is starting this venture this summertime to galvanize support and locate techniques to address the insurance coverage difficulty.

I need to admit when Duggan first pointed out this thought to me at the downtown campus of Wayne County Local community University District (WCCCD) when he appeared on the Global Conversation Speaker Series I was moderating, I was taken aback by the thought and did not anticipate something to come out of it much more than just one more campaign guarantee. I thought it was revolutionary but I’ve seen a lot of politicians in this town use insurance coverage redlining as a political hot button problem and come back to residents with absolutely nothing. I’ve observed press conference following press conference with fists up in the air about ending insurance coverage redlining by some of our legislators and practically nothing happened.

I’ve observed a former Democratic governor, Jennifer Granholm, during her 2005 re-election carry together an unprecedented group of clergy members to the Cadillac building in Detroit for a significant press conference vowing to reduce prices for Detroit residents, and it amounted to zero. It turned out to be a clever ploy to enlist the support of some of the trusted voices in our neighborhood — pastors — to get the vote out for Gran­holm’s re-election with the specter of eliminating insurance coverage redlining. That was it.

I’ve witnessed the chess game that politicians have played all around insurance coverage redlining and gotten away with it whilst struggling residents either have to move out of the city or use a suburban address although residing in Detroit just to get previous having to pay higher premiums.

So I had every cause to be skeptical about Duggan when he 1st proposed this idea on the campaign trail. But providing this problem prominence the way he did in his very first key policy speech final week has deflected my skepticism and has shown that the mayor is significant about attacking an situation undermining top quality of life in Detroit. You do not have to be a Duggan supporter to agree with him that it is time to end redlining. And if the battle towards insurance redlining turns out to be an Armageddon battle, so be it.

For Detroit, whatever it requires to ultimately bring a halt to this financial dragnet must be welcomed by everyone whose pocketbook is getting hit by the problem. If you have to decide on in between changing an aging roof or receiving prescriptions and your car insurance, it is time you stand up and support the D-Insurance coverage proposal.

The argument that car theft continues to be the cause for high prices does not hold significantly water anymore due to the fact a report launched for the sixth consecutive time by the Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) whose 6-member board of directors, drawn from law enforcement, automobile insurers and consumers of automobile insurance appointed by the governor, indicated that automobile theft general is on the decline in the state, whilst insurance coverage companies continue to make huge revenue.

Automobile theft, in accordance to ATPA, decreased 6.8 percent from 2010 to 2011 and continued that lessen by .03 percent from 2011 to 2012. ATPA noted that given that its inception in 1986, car thefts in Michigan have decreased by more than 65 percent.

Detroit has always been a specific situation when it comes to troubles affecting the rest of the state, and it will consider a special undertaking like the D-Insurance coverage to start to deal with this fiscal nightmare that most Detroiters are dealing with. Yes, there are undesirable drivers, automobile theft is commonplace, but it does not qualify for the variety of costs that any individual with a Detroit handle is currently being forced to spend.

If Duggan can write the wrongs of insurance coverage redlining it will go along way in direction of creating Detroit complete.

For as well extended insurance redlining has subjected Detroiters to an unacceptable top quality of existence. Hopefully that will alter.

Bankole Thompson is the editor of the Michigan Chronicle and author of the forthcoming 2014 guide on Detroit titled “Rising From the Ashes: Engaging Detroit’s Future with Courage.” His most current guide “Obama and Christian Loyalty,” bargains with the politics of the religious correct, black theology and the president’s faith posture across a myriad of troubles with an epilogue written by former White Home spokesman Robert S. Weiner. He is a political analyst at WDET-101.9FM (Detroit Public Radio) and a member of the weekly “Obama Watch” roundtable on WLIB-1190AM New York. E-mail him at and check out

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