Accident Victims Protest No-Fault Insurance Changes

SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – While the state House is considering proposed changes to the state’s no-fault insurance law, auto accident victims and others gathered in Southfield to protest.

Michigan is the only state that offers unlimited injury coverage. This bill would instead give consumers the option of buying different levels of that coverage with the highest amount being $5 million.

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College student Grant Henderson.

“We find these changes to be detrimental to the state of Michigan,” said Peter Smith, president of the group Caregivers at Home, speaking to WWJ Newsradio 950’s Pat Sweeting at a rally in Southfield.

“They’re going to to remove the  that are reasonable and necessary should you be in a catastrophic accident. They will then only offer insurance policies that provide caps,” said Smith.

“There’s no guarantee on a reduction in insurance premiums that you and I might pay,” he added, calling it an “attack” on benefits that have been in place for 38 years.

The dozens of people at Monday morning’s informational demonstration at 12 Mile Road and Evergreen are asking Michigan lawmakers to leave the No-Fault law alone, or at least leave it up to the voters to decide.

Struck by a motorist while crossing the street six years ago, New Baltimore Michigan resident Sara Truman now relies on her wheelchair for mobility.

Truman said she attends physical therapy sessions twice a week that are paid for by insurance.

“I would make things more difficult. I would have to cut back on therapy … other things,” she said.

Proponents of the changes say they’ve recognized some real long-term problems in the no-fault system and hope to address the escalating costs that come with that unlimited lifetime medical benefit.

Pete Kuhnmuench, executive director of the Insurance Institute of Michigan, said Michigan’s no-fault insurance could become unfordable if lawmakers don’t make the change.

“We’ve seen some really disturbing trends with respect to the cost of the average claim building over the last decade,” said Kuhnmuench. “And we believe that it’s important to make some important reforms today in order to keep that system viable well into the future.”

Kuhnmuench said the proposed new law would give consumers the option of buying different levels of medical benefit coverage with the highest amount being $5 million.

He said Michigan is at risk of losing its no-fault insurance system if lawmakers don’t make the change.

Michigan is one of just 12 states that still operates under a no-fault insurance system.

  • clifford comstock

    Lawyers, Insurence and State laws Oh My! THEY DON’T PAY AND WE DO!

  • Pat Coulston

    The new plan, written by a Tort Attorney, will require every injured person to go to court to get the coverage they will need to live, and that attorney will make a portion of every case he wins!.
    Every injured person, except some of the 1%, will be required to go on Medicare/Medicaid, at taxpayers’ expense, to continue to live. And, YOUR insurance premiums will go UP.

    STOP Michigan House (HB 4936) and Senate (SB 649) bills NOW!!!

    Michigan is an exemplar of the best insurance coverage, for the very best price, for every consumer, in the entire country! No wonder THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY AND TORT ATTORNEYS WANT THESE BILLS TO PASS!!

    My 30-year old son had an a… chart estimate of his lifetime expenses, set at $15 Million. What do you think will happen after these bills CAP your Coverage at $5 Million – You will go on welfare, and Medicaid…
    STOP THIS “FUNDED” ROBBERY, NOW!! Oh, yes, the fact that these bills “fund” a $50K study, make it impossible for you to vote on this change, ever! In the past, Michigan Voters said NO! twice. Don’t let the current government take away your right to SAY NO!

  • Robert

    Pete Kuhnmuench would like you to believe that this is about giving the citizens in Michigan a choice of coverage. In actuality this is about insurance companies making more profits on the backs of Michigan taxpayers. When asked if the insurance companies would lower the insurance rates that we pay each month since the medical coverage the insurance companies would be providing as part of their policies would be less they were unwilling to commit to that idea in any way. HB 4936 is nothing more than a money shift. If this law is passed patients will be forced to seek medical care through the Medicade system when their auto insurance limits are reached. The taxpayers of Michigan will be stuck with the bill while the insurance companies will continue to make profits. Paying the same rates for less coverage while increasing taxes on Michigan citizens is a no win situation for the state of Michigan. Why do you think the legislators who have taken contributions from the insurance companies have structured the bill so that the voters of Michigan cannot weigh in? They know Michigan citizens don’t want changes to the auto no-fault law. If this is about choice Pete why is this issue not on the ballot for the voters to weigh in on?

  • Ken

    If the lifetime benefit is such a good idea, why is Michigan the only state to have it? What’s wrong with paying for the coverage you want? You do it now with the rest of your auto and home coverage and even life insurance. It seems a few people want something and expect the majority to pay for it.

  • Obasuyi Godfrey

    Getting involved with a new traumatic motor vehicle accident is actually awful, not simply for you personally as being a target, but in addition for your family. If you maintained disabilities as well as disfigurement… accident

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