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Insurer who paid PIP withdraws; victim cannot collect from assigned insurer because notice wasn't timely

In a recent disturbing consolidated case, entitled Visner v. Harris, the Court allowed a very disturbing holding to stand.  The plaintiff was struck by a car in 2008, while standing in her driveway.  She didn't own a car or buy car insurance, however, she was listed as a "named driver" on a policy issued to her then-fiance by Pioneer Insurance.  She wasn't listed as a "named insured," however.

Pioneer was put on notice and paid her PIP benefits for more than a year before deciding that it didn't owe her any PIP benefits because she wasn't a relative of her fiance at the time.  She immediately gave notice to the Assigned Claims Fund, which assigned State Farm to pay benefits.  State Farm and the ACF then denied benefits because they didn't get written notice of the claim within 12 months of the injury.  Even though the family didn't know the no fault law and didn't know that Visner wasn't "covered" for PIP benefits under the policy until after 12 months had passed, Visner was denied the right to collect from either insurer the benefits due.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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