Kentucky motorcyclist entitled to Michigan PIP benefits; Auto Owners must pay costs
James Perkins was hurt in Leelanau County when his motorcycle collided with a car. Under Michigan's no fault act, an out-of-state motorcyclist can collect PIP benefits from the involved vehicle insurer if he has insurance coverage with a certified Michigan insurer. Perkins had coverage on his car with State Farm--who is certified--but his bike coverage was with a company that is not certified. AutoOwners argued that by statute Perkins couldn't collect PIP benefits because his State Farm "certified" coverage was on his car and not on his bike.
The lower court disagreed and deemed the AutoOwners argument "unreasonable" given the statutory language. The higher court agreed and upheld the award of fees to Perkins against AutoOwners. The Court of Appeals panel concluded that AutoOwners' arguments were not "on point" and not "logically supported." It deemed Auto Owners' final argument "nonsensical." Sadly, when insurers get used to winning under all circumstances, they become accustomed to delaying payment of benefits and litigating nonsensical defenses. Happens all too often in Michigan.