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Choosing a rental car: How an accident lawyer picks a rental car

June 22, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Why driving a rental car with Michigan license plates is important

I travel quite a bit for work. These days, many car rental companies have programs where you can walk out to the designated rental car parking lot and grab whichever rental car you want, show your id and credit card at the gate and drive off. National has Emerald Club Isle, Hertz has something very similar and so do many other rental car companies these days.

Tip: Look for rental cars with Michigan plates

Here’s a tip when choosing a rental car: Choose a rental car with a Michigan license plate.

Why? Many of these rental cars waiting in parking lots for you to walk up to and drive off in have cars with license plates from other states. I’m sure this is because of the one-way rentals that many big cities get from neighboring states, but the reason isn’t important. But what is important is this: out-of-state residents injured in a car accident may get full Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits if they’re in a Michigan registered and plated rental car.

If you’re injured in an out-of-state car accident: If you are injured in a non-Michigan car accident while driving a rental car registered in Michigan, you still go right through the insurer of the vehicle occupied for your Michigan No-Fault benefits (MCL 500.3111 – Out of state car accidents).

If you’re injured in a Michigan car accident: If you are injured in a car accident in Michigan, and in a Michigan registered rental car, you go through the normal order of priorities (your own insurer, spouse/resident relative…) regarding who is to cover your auto insurance benefits. However, you will still get full Michigan No-Fault benefits from whichever insurer is ultimately responsible.

So, rental customers using National’s Emerald Isle program or Hertz’s Gold program will always want to look for vehicles with Michigan license plates, and choose those rental cars so you can become covered by Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits, which are considered the best in the nation (and why Michigan insurance companies have started a propaganda campaign to limit unlimited medical care, despite record-breaking profit margins).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits and why they’re important… Michigan is one of only a handful of states throughout the country that has No-Fault insurance coverage that provides unlimited lifetime medical benefits. This means that even if an auto accident victim’s medical expenses run as high as $100,00 or $500,000 or $1 million, those expenses are paid in full by the auto accident victim’s No-Fault auto insurance company.

You always want to have Michigan No-Fault insurance, because it has the most comprehensive coverage to take care of all of your needs – such as attendant care (nursing services), wage loss and replacement services – should a serious accident injury occur.

Steve Gursten is one of the nation’s top auto accident lawyers. He is head of Michigan Auto Law and has received the highest verdict in the state for a car accident or truck accident victim in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Related information to protect yourself:

Do I need to purchase insurance coverage on a rental car, even if I have Michigan No-Fault?

Rental car insurance advice for Michigan drivers: Part 11

Renting cars in another state: Insurance issues for Michigan drivers

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our auto accident attorneys.

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