Accident Victims Oppose Auto Insurance Change

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People from around the state gathered at the Capitol on Thursday. Many of them are victims of serious car accidents, including 15-year-old Brittney Ruckle. Six years ago, she was involved in a car crash that left her wheel-chair bound with traumatic brain injuries.

"She currently needs 24 hours care, 7 days a week, everything from getting out of bed to rolling in bed." said Kris Ruckle, Brittney's mother.

Brittney's mom is one of dozens of people who came to the Capitol against H.B. 4612. It would change Michigan's auto insurance system to cap unlimited personal injury protection coverage at $1 million. Some say it's not enough to cover on-going treatment.

However, the legislation also requires auto insurance providers to lower the premium on every vehicle by at least $125 in the first year.

"We have rates that are driving people to drive without insurance," said Ari Adler, spokesperson for Speaker of the House Jase Bolger.

Michigan is currently the only state in the country that mandates unlimited coverage. Supporters of the change say capping it at $1 million is still well above the national average.

"Not mandating unlimited coverage which is something 99.5% of the drivers will never use will help to bring down those insurance rates and make it more affordable for people," Adler said.

Those who still need on-going care after their accident say they depend on that unlimited coverage.

"Let our representatives understand how important this is to not only to our family but the families that will need it in the future," said Ruckle.

Brittney still needs in-home care, outpatient therapy with social skill training, something her mother says she may need for the rest of her life.

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