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What motorcycle insurance is required in Michigan?

February 19, 2015 by Steven M. Gursten

It may be snowing hard right now, but spring is right around the corner. And I’m already getting questions from motorcycle owners in anticipation of getting those motorcycles back on the roads.

One recent question I received is regarding insurance for motorcyclists:

Q. What motorcycle insurance is required now that Michigan has repealed its mandatory motorcycle helmet law?

A.  Under Michigan law, all motorcyclists – helmeted or unhelmeted – must carry “liability” insurance to cover “loss resulting from … property damage, bodily injury, or death suffered by a person arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of [their] motorcycle.” (MCL 500.3103(1))

The motorcycle “liability policy” coverage limit must be, at a minimum:

  • “$20,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 1 person in any 1 accident …,”
  • “$40,000.00 because of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons in any 1 accident” and
  • “$10,000.00 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any accident.” (MCL 500.3103(1); 500.3009(1))

Additionally, helmeted motorcycle riders have the option of choosing to purchase medical-benefits coverage.

Specifically, they can obtain from their motorcycle insurance company “first-party medical benefits … in increments of $5,000.00, payable in the event the owner or registrant [of the motorcycle] is involved in a motorcycle accident.” (MCL 500.3103(2))

Significantly, there are specific insurance rules for motorcycle operators and riders who choose to not wear a helmet.

A motorcyclist (i.e., a “person who is operating a motorcycle”) who is over 21 is “not required to wear [a] crash helmet[]” if he or she has motorcycle insurance coverage for “first-party medical benefits” in the following amounts:

  • “[N]ot less than $20,000,” if the motorcyclist is operating his or her motorcycle “without a rider.” (MCL 257.658(5)(c)(i))
  • “[N]ot less than $20,000 per person per occurrence,” if the motorcyclist is riding “with a rider …” and neither of them are wearing motorcycle helmets. (MCL 257.658(5)(c)(ii))

Similarly, a motorcycle rider (i.e., a “person who is riding on a motorcycle”) who is over 21 is “not required to wear [a] crash helmet” if he or she has motorcycle insurance coverage for “first-party medical benefits” in an amount “not less than $20,000.” (MCL 257.658(5)(c))

Remember, if a motorcycle is involved in a crash with a car or truck, and the motorcycle does not have PIP, the operator can still make a No-Fault claim for PIP benefits with the No-Fault carrier who insures the car or truck.

Here’s more information about additional insurance coverages a motorcyclist can purchase: What insurance is required for Michigan motorcyclists?

Related information:

7 reasons every state should pass a motorcycle helmet law requirement

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