Texas resident cannot collect Michigan PIP benefits from his insurer
Rochelle Washington, a Texas resident driving a car registered in Texas, was injured in a Michigan car accident. Initially, her insurer, "Old American County Mutual Fire Insurance Co.," paid her PIP benefits. After paying a little over $13,000.00 in medical and wages, however, Old American stopped paying and Washington sued it and Titan Insurance--the assigned insurance company under the Assigned Claims Plan. Old American is not registered in the State of Michigan, and therefore not obligated to pay PIP benefits under Michigan law; it could still be obligated under the terms of its policy/contract. The Court of Appeals concluded that it was not, however.
Under the heading OUT OF STATE COVERAGE, the Old American policy provided that "If the state or province has....A compulsory insurance or similar law requiring a nonresident to maintain insurance whenever the nonresident uses a vehicle in that state or province, your policy will provide at least the required minimum amounts and types of coverage." Despite the express language conforming the policy to Michigan's no fault law and agreeing to provide the "types of coverage" that are mandatory under Michigan law, the Court held that Washington was not entitled to PIP benefits. It held that the placement of this provision in the liability section of the policy made the provision inapplicable to PIP benefits payable under Michigan law.