Schedule a Consultation | Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Trial lawyers specializing in personal injury and civil litigation

Out-of-state motorcyclist can collect PIP benefits from his (registered) car insurance

James Perkins lived in Kentucky but was driving his motorcycle near Glen Lake when he was struck by a car.  Perkins owned a car that was insured with State Farm, but his bike was insured with Progressive Northern Insurance Company.  Progressive Northern had not registered to sell insurance in Michigan, but State Farm had.   The car that struck Perkins was insured with Auto Owners.

When Perkins sought Personal Injury Protection benefits, Auto Owners argued that it did not owe benefits which the involved motor vehicle insurer must normally pay, because Perkins' bike was not insured with a certified Michigan company.  The Circuit Court rejected this argument, noting that the applicable statute only required Perkins to be "insured by an insurer which has filed a certification..."  It does not require that the motorcycle involved in the incident be insured by a company certificed in Michigan--only the victim.

The judges found no basis in the law or in public policy for the Court to interpret the no fault statute in the restrictive manner suggested by Auto Owners:  it noted that a clear, unambiguous statute must be enforced as written and that when writing the no fault statute, the Legislature incorporated certain assignments of insurer responsibility and certain underwriting assumptions.  Those assumptions and assignments applied in this case to make Auto Owners responsible for PIP benefits.  Auto Owners' argument was an "over-reach" even in an insurer-friendly environment.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262