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Insurer can't avoid payment of no fault PIP benefits

Met Life Auto and Home denied Harless Hairston no fault PIP benefits when he suffered serious injuries in a car accident.  Met LIfe argued that it was entitled to consider Hairston an "owner" of his mother's car because she had loaned it to him for more than 30 days.  It argued that since Hairston was a Michigan resident and his mother insured the car in Illinois where she lived, Hairston could be denied benefits as the owner of an uninsured vehicle, even though he was not operating it at the time of his injuries.

The Court noted that under the facts of this case, the car was properly insured in Illinois, and that in accordance with MCL 257.243(1), the vehicle was not required to be insured in Michigan.  Therefore, even though Hairston was occupying (not driving) a vehicle that was not insured under Michigan's no fault scheme, he was still entitled to PIP benefits--which were paid under a policy issued to the uncle with whom he lived.

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