Accident Victims Oppose Auto Insurance Change

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

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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  • by Anonymous on Apr 30, 2013 at 10:09 PM
    I do know that when you apply for auto insurance they do ask if you have healthcare ..via work, spouse etc etc.. I would also assume that those medical insurers also participate in coverage for incidents such as someone needed long term care? or am I incorrect?
  • by me on Apr 26, 2013 at 05:17 PM
    I do empathize with people in this situation. However, what about all of the people who have children with catastrophic illnesses who will also need care for the rest of their lives. Who is responsible for paying for them? In other words, why should the rest of us be forced to pay such high insurance rates to cover your costs when we may have children and/or grandchildren who could use our help.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 26, 2013 at 11:35 AM
    We are the only state in the union with unlimited medical. There has to be another way of dealing with this or other states would have it too. Auto insurance costs are ridiculous and something needs to be figured out.
  • by Non_Anon Location: Michigan 7th District on Apr 26, 2013 at 11:19 AM
    "Lower the rates on every vehicle by $125 next year"?? The purchasers of auto insurance would mostly likely see a drop of, say, $20 on each vehicle should the governor's plan be approved. The rest of that "savings" the industry would amass would probably be used to give the top management and owners a salary raise and/or bonus. Of course, I am sure the current legislators would not be forgotten by their 'friends'.
  • by ME on Apr 26, 2013 at 08:33 AM
    I say put the cap on it and then when the person needs more coverage they can get on the federal disability program like alot of people who dont need it do. I know people that shouldnt be on it, get stricter so there is room for the people who do need it.
  • by mike Location: lansing on Apr 26, 2013 at 06:04 AM
    Hey name are U crazy? U must be related to verg that's something he would say.And what about people on fixed income.
  • by Name Location: Location on Apr 26, 2013 at 05:52 AM
    Isn't there a cap on benefits for medical coverage? I'm pretty sure the likes of BCBS or the other major carriers will only pay out $1-$2 million in medical coverage for somebody over the course of their lifetime. I think they can also set limits for specific things like organ transplant. How is this different?
  • by Name Location: Location on Apr 26, 2013 at 03:43 AM
    This is a case where the state needs to take care of the person. The taxpayers have deeper pockets.
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