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Who pays for motorcycle damage after a Michigan motorcycle-car accident?

June 8, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Attorney discusses motorcyclists’ options for paying for accident-related repair costs to a motorcycle

Who pays for motorcycle damage after motorcycle car accident

As an attorney, the question I get most from people who own motorcycles is how they can get their motorcycle fixed, or who pays the repair costs.  The answer will depend on whether the motorcycle was damaged in a motorcycle-car accident or not.

Here’s an example of a question:

“When a motorcycle is damaged in an accident with a car, and it wasn’t my fault, who pays the repair costs for fixing the motorcycle?”

“Unfortunately, the options are not many. The first and most likely option is the insurance company who wrote the coverage for the motorcycle, assuming that the policy includes collision coverage.

However, that is not always the case. Michigan law does not require motorcyclists to purchase collision coverage, just as it does not require car owners to purchase collision coverage either.

Beyond a motorcyclist’s collision coverage, there’s not much else.

The Michigan Mini Tort is not available because the Mini Tort only covers “motor vehicles” and, under the No Fault Law, motorcycles do not come within the definition of a “motor vehicle.”

The property protection insurance provision of the at-fault motorist’s policy would only provide coverage if the motorcycle was parked at the time of the collision, because PPI only covers “property.”

Finally, in the rare and unusual instance that the at-fault vehicle was a tractor or another motorcyclist, the owner of the damaged motorcycle may be able to recover under the property damage provision of the at-fault operator’s insurance policy.

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