Driver of insured car entitled to PIP benefits from Assigned Claims, even though insurer of vehicle had valid coverage defense
Scott Beaudette was catastrophically injured while driving his own vehicle in Washtenaw County. The vehicle had been insured with AutoOwners by his mother. AutoOwners denied coverage of this "unowned" vehicle after the collision, and Beaudette applied for coverage under the Assigned Claims Plan. Farmers Insurance was assigned to the claim, but refused to pay benefits because it claimed that Beaudette should be disqualified from PIP benefits under MCL 500. 3101.The Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court that pre-existing precedent interpreted the strict language of the statute to make Beaudette inelegible only if his car was "uninsured." Since his car was insured--although Auto Owners may have enjoyed a coverage defense--he was not disqualified from receiving PIP benefits by statute.