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Can you file a mini tort claim for motorcycle damage?

May 19, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

Motorcycle accident victims want to know if the Michigan mini tort law will cover the cost of some of their motorcycle repairs

mini tort for motorcycle damage?

As the weather finally warms up to bearable temps after our polar vortex winter, we’re seeing more and more motorcyclists out and about. And although it’s still early in the season, our attorneys are already getting  calls about motorcycle crashes and related insurance issues.

When motorcycle accidents don’t involve serious injuries, one of the most common questions I receive is about motorcycle repair.  Below, I’ve included an answer to a reader to help you with this issue.

See this recent answer I posted in response to an e-mail I received from Cynthia:

Q. I was wondering if you can file a mini tort claim for a motorcycle accident? My husband was involved in an accident and the other party’s insurance said that they weren’t going to pay the $1,000 mini tort claim to cover the damage because motorcycles are not included in the mini tort. Is this true?

A. Unfortunately, the insurance company is correct. There is no mini tort for motorcycles or motorcycle accidents in Michigan, as a motorcycle is not considered a “motor vehicle” under the No Fault law.  Therefore, the No Fault laws do not apply to motorcycles in the same manner.

If the wrongdoer is insured, the maximum you can get from the wrongdoer for your vehicle damage is $1,000, which is called the mini tort claim. If your deductible is lower than $1,000 (such as $500, for instance), then that $500 would be your maximum claim.

But here’s the rub: This is only for cars or trucks – not for motorcycles.

This might change, however.  There’s a proposed bill that would allow mini tort to cover motorcycle damage. Stay tuned for my blog post with details about the proposed new law.   It certainly has interesting implications and raises fundamental fairness issues.

For more information on motorcycle insurance that will protect you, especially after our Michigan motorcycle helmet repeal, take a look at my blog post: “What motorcycle insurance is covered now that Michigan passed the helmet law repeal?”

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