Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Laws and Requirements: What You Need To Know
It is important that motorcyclists know and comply with the Michigan motorcycle insurance requirements. Like cars and trucks, motor bikes must be covered by liability coverage. But medical coverage is generally not required, except for motorcyclists over 21 years of age who wish to ride without helmets.
Is motorcycle insurance required in Michigan?
Motorcycle insurance is required in Michigan. Motorcyclists must liability coverage to cover the motorcyclist in case they cause an accident that results in death or bodily injury. Additionally, motorcyclists who ride without helmets must have first-party medical benefits coverage.
Required motorcycle insurance for a Michigan resident
A motorcyclist who is a resident must have liability coverage for the event they are at-fault in causing an automobile crash that results in death or bodily injury to another person and/or property damage. (MCL 500.3103(1))
How much liability coverage is required ?
A motorcyclist’s “liability coverage” must have minimum limits of $250,000 and $500,000 to cover bodily injury to or death of one person or two or more persons in one automobile crash caused by the motorcyclist. He or she must also have $10,000 to cover “injury to or destruction of property.” (MCL 500.3103(1); 500.3009(1))
However, a motorcyclist can choose “lower limits” of $50,000 and $100,000 for bodily injury liability coverage. (MCL 500.3009(5))
No-Fault is not a required motorcycle insurance in Michigan
Unlike drivers of cars and trucks, motorcyclists are not required to purchase auto No-Fault coverage. The No-Fault law’s mandatory auto coverage requirement only applies to vehicles that qualify as “motor vehicles” and the No-Fault specifically excludes motorcycles from its definition of a “motor vehicle.” (MCL 500.3101(1) and (3)(i)(i))
Medical coverage through motorcycle insurance in Michigan
Motorcyclists are not required to have medical coverage, but they do have the option of purchasing first-party medical benefits coverage to cover their medical bills in the event they are injured in an automobile crash. (MCL 500.3103(2))
If there was no car or truck involved in the automobile crash and if a motorcyclist does not have medical coverage, then his or her options for paying medical bills would include: (1) health coverage; (2) suing the other motorcyclist or non-motorist who was at-fault for causing the accident; (3) Medicare; (4) Medicaid; or (5) paying out-of-pocket.
No-Fault benefits for motorcyclists
Even though a motorcyclist is not required to purchase No-Fault coverage, an injured motorcyclist is entitled to collect No-Fault benefits after an automobile crash if a car or truck was involved. No-Fault benefits will pay for medical care, lost wages, and attendant care.
The No-Fault “priority” rules will determine what auto insurance company pays for an injured motorcyclist’s benefits after a crash involving a motor vehicle. It could be insurer of the owner of the car or truck or the insurer of its driver. Or the auto insurer of the operator of the bike or owner. (MCL 500.3114(5)(a-d) and (b))
If coverage is still unavailable, then benefits may need to be sought with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan. (MCL 500.3114(6))
To learn more, check out our blog posts on “Motorcycle Insurance in Michigan Under New No-Fault Law” and “No-Fault Application For Benefits: What You Need To Know About Filing.”
Helmets and insurance coverage
Motorcyclists must have first-party medical benefits coverage if they want to ride without helmets. A motorcyclist with no passenger must have no less than $20,000 in coverage. When a passenger is involved, there must be at least $20,000 in coverage “per person per occurrence.” (MCL 257.658(5)(c))
Only motorcyclists who are 21 years of age or older may ride without a helmet. (MCL 257.658(5))
Non-residents and motorcycle insurance in Michigan
If you are not a resident of the state, but you operate your bike for more than 30 days total during any calendar year, then you must have the liability coverage required by the No-Fault law. (MCL 500.3102(1); 500.3103(1))
Penalty for no coverage
Driving without the legally required motorcycle insurance in Michigan is a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of $200 to $500, up to one year in jail or both. (MCL 500.3102(2))
Additionally, an uninsured motorcyclist who is injured in an accident involving a car or truck will be disqualified from recovering the No-Fault benefits he or she would have otherwise been entitled to. (MCL 500.3113(b))
However, lack of coverage for the motorcyclist would not disqualify an injured motorcyclist from suing the at-fault motorist who caused the automobile crash for pain and suffering. (MCL 500.3135(2)(c))
UM and UIM for motorcyclists
Neither “uninsured motorist” (UM) nor “underinsured motorist” (UIM) are required coverages for motorcyclists, but they provide vital protection. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and under-insured motorist coverage (UIM) provide a valuable source of legal recovery when a motorcyclist is injured in an auto accident by a hit-and-run driver, an uninsured driver or a driver who does not have adequate coverage. Without a UM or UIM coverage policy, a motorcyclist injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist will have no source of legal recovery, other than filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for his or her personal assets. Our attorneys strongly recommend you contact your agent to purchase these important motorcycle insurance coverages if you ride regularly in Michigan.
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