Friday, October 05, 2007

Reality and Common Sense re: HB258

A pastor friend of mine was in an accident this summer. A man on drugs crossed the center line and hit him. The accident put Pastor Flynn out of commission for quite some time and he is still undergoing treatment and surgeries. Sadly, the other man had minimum coverage which will only cover up to $12,500 worth of medical treatment for any injuries he caused to others. This certainly doesn't help the situation, but it did open the door for Pastor Flynn to speak to a group of government officials in our state capital next week. The manuscript of his future speech to them is given below:
Chairman Batchelder, members of the Insurance Committee, and Guests,

Good afternoon. I am Pastor Ralph Flynn from Bellevue Ohio. I want to thank Chairman Batchelder for alowing me to come and give my testimony about raising the minimum bodily injury liability coverage required by the State of Ohio. I am well qualified to offer my support because on July 22, 2007, I was in an auto accident caused by a person who carried only the $12,500 coverage required by the State in order to drive.

As a pastor, what I say on Sunday affects those who come to church. I labor over the message, over the words, and over the results I desire them to have upon my people. Today, I am not here to preach to you, but I did labor over what I would say and the desired results of my testimony on you
and on the people of the State of Ohio who drive.

I have read HB258 and I applaud you for desiring to raise the State minimum. This is long overdue. I would like to address this issue from two aspects: Reality and Common Sense.

Common Sense tells us that when we drive we need to have insurance. Reality tells us how much that insurance should be. Both Reality and Common Sense tell us that the current amount of injury liability insurance of $12,500 is too low and outdated by the current costs of hospitals, doctors, medical staff, and equipment required to treat injuries suffered due to an auto accident.

If I were to give each of you a piece of paper and ask you to write down the amount of insurance you personally have for bodily injury liability coverage, I would be surprised if I found anyone who wrote down, “I have the minimum required by the State of Ohio.” Why? It makes Common Sense that we want more coverage, both on ourselves and on the other driver.

If I were to ask you to change what you have and carry the proposed minimum of $25,000, I would be surprised to find any takers. Why? In Reality this minimum is too low. Let’s look at my bills that have been paid so far by my insurance company. Notice I said my insurance company, not the insurance company of the person who was at fault for my accident. I like the theme: Your Fault – You Pay. But in Reality, with too low of a minimum this is not the case. Both the present $12,500 and the proposed $25,000 fall short of meeting my medical expenses. Also consider the fact that there are many who are injured in Ohio regularly who have injuries far beyond mine physically and cost wise.

Here are the checks that my insurance company has written so far. This is Reality.

Amount Payable to: Date Processed

01. $ 65.00 Consulting Radiologists Corp. 8-9-07

02. $ 66.00 Consulting Radiologists Corp. 8-90-7

03. $ 938.00 Consulting Radiologists Corp. 8-9-07

04. $ 163.00 Consulting Radiologists Corp. 8-9-07

05. $ 57.00 Consulting Radiologists Corp. 8-9-07

06. $ 924.00 Assoc. Anesth. of Toledo 8-9-07

07. $ 50.00 St. Vincent Medical Center 8-15-07

08. $ 1,020.00 North Central EMS 8-21-07

09. $ 396.00 St. Vincent Medical Center 8-22-07

10. $ 29.00 Consulting Radiologists Corp. 8-22-07

11. $ 408.00 Consulting Pathologists Corp. 8-23-07

12. $61,407.07 St. Vincent Medical Center 8-23-07

13. $ 95.00 Rene Amburn, MD 8-30-07

14. $ 45.60 St. Vincent Medical Center 9-12-07

15. $ 3,641.25 Arrowhead Plastic Surgeons 9-12-07

16. $ 558.20 Advanced Family Eyecare Inc. 9-13-07

17. $ 1,113.90 Audrich Inc./BellevueCareCenter 9-13-07

18. $ 29.00 Consulting Radiologists Corp. 9-13-07

19. $ 396.00 St. Vincent Medical Center 9-13-07

20. $ 49.43 Berry Knotts, MD 9-20-07

21. $ 38.29 Berry Knotts, MD 9-20-07

22. $ 8,472.20 SRMC LifeFlight Mobile Life 9-20-07

23. $ 30.43 Mohammedy Ahmed MD, Inc. 9-24-07

24. $ 17.90 Mohammedy Ahmed MD, Inc. 9-24-07

25. $ 577.00 Lucas Co. Emergency Phys. 9-26-07

26. $ 349.80 The Bellevue Hospital 9-26-07

27. $ 1,038.70 The Bellevue Hospital 9-26-07

28. $ 663.28 Audrich Inc./BellevueCareCenter 9-28-07

Bills not yet received and still outstanding:

29. $ 000.00 St. Vincent Medical Center – operating room

30. $ 000.00 Arrowhead Plastic Surgeons – surgery on mouth

31. $ 000.00 St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center – recovery room

32. $ 000.00 Dr. Nicely, D.D.S. – extensive dental repair/replacement

The total of all bills could well exceed $100,000.

I asked many people the following question and I ask you the same. “If you were in an accident caused by another driver would you want him to have $25,000 or $100,000 minimum bodily injury liability coverage?” To the last person, all said $100,000. Several even stated “$25,000 isn’t anything compared to the high costs today.” This is Reality.

It makes Common Sense to consider Reality. If the other insurance company is not going to cover your bills, then your insurance will have to, provided you have coverage for riders for no insurance and under insurance. Some might argue that the cost would be too much. The man who crossed the yellow line and struck me had red and yellow tags – so he had money to drink. He was tested and marijuana was found in his system – so he had money for drugs. He was driving on a suspended license – so he didn’t care for other drivers.

The people of Ohio look to you for their safety and interest. In Reality, they want coverage and are willing to pay for it. One Ohio driver told me, “If we are to do it; let’s do it right!” I would be in favor of minimums even higher than those proposed in HB 258. But it just makes Common Sense to set Ohio off in the right direction toward better minimum coverage, and that’s what HB 258 does.

I hope you agree. Thank you.

Pastor Ralph H. Flynn
Presented to the Insurance Committee
Ohio House of Representatives
October 9, 2007


Steven said...

Hi Andy,

Here in Australia our vehicle registration and insurance bill, paid annually, is around $560. About $180 or thereabouts is the registration fee and the rest is compulsory third party insurance. This insurance is for medical costs in the event of an accident and because everyone pays it, it's a no-fault system. You might have to argue fault to fix your vehicle, but not to fix your person.

As far as I know, all bills are covered.

Andy Rupert said...

That's how it is in neighboring state, Michigan, USA. Although I dislike the idea of paying for what someone else caused, no-fault does seem to get the job done.