Injured couple cannot collect PIP benefits from car's insurer because they occupied a borrowed car
Gregory and Patrice Fuller were hurt in a car accident. At the time, they had borrowed the occupied car from a family friend who had rented the car from a Rental Agency because her car was undergoing repairs. The friend who possessed the car had purchased No Fault insurance from GEICO. The Fullers read the policy and understood that they needed to apply for PIP benefits to GEICO; as a result they did not turn the related medical expenses in to the insurer who covered the vehicle for the rental agency.
GEICO denied owing any PIP bills, arguing that the owner's insurer--rather than the possessor's (or renter's) insurer, was first in priority to pay PIP benefits. Further, since the Fullers had not given notice and filed suit against that insurer within the one-year deadline, GEICO argued that no one owed coverage to the Fullers.
The trial court agreed and the Court of Appeals affirmed. It read the insurance policy and noted that the renter's No Fault policy covered the insureds for liability while using a rental car, but it did not provide mandatory Michigan No Fault PIP benefits to persons occupying a rented vehicle. It provided PIP benefits only to the Named Insureds while they occupied a rental, and the borrowers, here, were not Named Insureds.