Dispute among No Fault insurers results in explanation of priority for payment of PIP benefits to self-employed trucker
Michigan Head & Spine Institute was forced to sue the Auto Club, Great West Casualty, and Great American Insurnace Company to collect payment for medical services it provided to a self-employed trucker. The Auto Club was the trucker's individual, personal vehicle insurer, while the other insurers provided coverage for the truck and trailer he was operating at the time of his injury. They were titled to his trucking company and its lessor. The trial judge had ordered the Auto Club to re-imburse the other insurers for all benefits they had paid, pursuant to a subrogation clause in the trucker's coverage which obligated any workers compensation or "similar" insurer to re-pay benfits.
The Court of Appeals rejected the judge's reasoning and overturned summary disposition. It noted at the outset that Michigan's comprehensive No Fault auto liability insurance scheme is not a law that can be deemed "similar" to workers compensation. It further noted that under the No Fault scheme, when there are multiple potential coverages for a self-employed worker, the coverage on the work-related vehicle should always be the primary payor of benfits.