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Out-of-state motorcyclist can collect Michigan No Fault benefits

Because out-of-state auto insurer filed a ‘3163 certification,’ the motorcyclist met the exception to general rule disallowing PIP benefits for non-residents

Motorcyclist

The general rule under Michigan’s No Fault Law is that out-of-state motorcyclists who are injured in a motorcycle accident involving a car or truck are disqualified from collecting No Fault insurance benefits (also known as PIP benefits).

However, a recent ruling, Perkins v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company, et al., by the Michigan Court of Appeals highlighted a very important exception:

An out-of-state motorcyclist who was injured in a Michigan crash with a car or truck can collect No Fault benefits if the motorcyclist’s out-of-state auto insurer “has filed a certification in compliance with section 3163.” (MCL 500.3113(c))

By filing the certification, a No Fault auto insurer guarantees that, if one of its insureds from another state is injured in a Michigan car accident or a truck accident, even if that insured is riding a motorcycle rather than driving a car or truck, then the auto insurer must still pay for and provide Michigan No Fault insurance benefits to the “out-of-state resident.”

Under MCL 500.3163(1) of Michigan’s No Fault law, all auto insurance companies licensed to do business in Michigan must file the certification.

Auto insurance comes to rescue of out-of-state motorcyclist

In Perkins, James Perkins, a motorcyclist from Kentucky, was injured in a motorcycle accident in Michigan. Contact was made between his motorcycle and  a car licensed in Michigan. Perkins’s motorcycle was covered by an out-of-state motorcycle insurance policy. Additionally, Perkins had State Farm auto policies for his Kentucky non-motorcycle, motor vehicles.

Although Perkins’s auto insurer, State Farm, had filed a 3163 certification in Michigan, Perkins’s motorcycle insurer had not.

The Michigan Court of Appeals said it didn’t matter.

Referring to the exception to the rule stated above, the unanimous appellate panel stated:

“[T]he simple fact remains that plaintiff was insured by an insurer that had filed the required certification. Nothing in the statute requires that the insurer be the one who provided insurance for the vehicle involved in the accident.”

Related information:

What to do after a motorcycle crash in Michigan

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Blog Author Steven M. Gursten
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