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Types of Motorcycle Insurance In Michigan: What’s Required?

The different types of motorcycle insurance coverage in Michigan include what is required for all owners, what is required for motorcyclists who choose to ride without crash helmets and the optional coverages such as first-party medical, collision, comprehensive and UM and UIM.

Liability insurance is required for all owners

The owner or registrant of a motorcycle must have this type of motorcycle insurance which provides liability coverage in the event the owner causes an accident that results in death, bodily injury or property damage. (MCL 500.3103(1)) 

The liability coverage limits under a liability policy for a motorcyclist must be “not less than”: 

  • “$250,000.00 because of bodily injury to or death of 1 person in any 1 accident”; 
  • “$500,000.00 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 500.3009(1)) 

However, a motorcyclist “may choose to purchase lower limits” of $50,000 and $100,000 for liability for death or bodily injury. (MCL 500.3009(5))

Medical benefits coverage is a type of motorcycle insurance required for motorcyclists riding without helmets

For motorcyclists – which includes both operators and riders – who are 21 years of age or older and who choose to ride without wearing crash helmets on their heads, they must have and/or be covered by at $20,000 in first-party medical benefits in the event they are involved and/or injured in an accident. (MCL 257.658(5)(c))

No-Fault Coverage

Motorcyclists are not required to purchase this type of motorcycle insurance because only “motor vehicles” must be covered by a No-Fault policy and a motor bikes are specifically excluded from the No-Fault law’s definition of a “motor vehicle.” (MCL 500.3101(1), (3)(i)(i))

But under certain circumstances a motorcyclist may be able to recover No-Fault benefits.

If a motorcyclist is injured in an accident “that shows evidence of the involvement of a motor vehicle,” then the motorcyclist will recover No-Fault benefits to pay for medical bills and lost wages from the following sources:

  • The “insurer” of the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the accident and, then, the “insurer” of the vehicle’s operator. (MCL 500.3114(5)(a) and (b))
  • Then the “motor vehicle insurer of the motorcyclist operator involved in the accident,” followed by  the “motor vehicle insurer” of the motorcycle’s owner or registrant. (MCL 500.3114(5)(c) and (d))
  • If no insurance coverage is available through any of these sources for the motorcyclist, then an injured motorcyclist will have to file a claim for No-Fault benefits with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan. (MCL 500.3114(6))

The amount of No-Fault medical coverage will be limited by the No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage levels selected in the auto insurance policies motor vehicle owners and operators. (MCL 500.3107c(5)) Also, No-Fault medical benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan are capped at $250,000. (MCL 500.3114(6); 500.3172(7)(a); 500.3107c(1)(b))

However, no No-Fault benefits will recoverable if the injured motorcyclist was the owner of the bike and if the motorcyclist did not have liability insurance coverage as required by the No-Fault law. (MCL 500.3113(b))

Optional types of motorcycle insurance coverage

Below are the several types of motorcycle insurance coverage that are optional for motorcyclists in Michigan:

  • First-party medical benefits: An owner can purchase this type of motorcycle insurance which provides “first-party medical benefits” for the owner, his or her spouse or any family member living in the owner’s home in the event they are involved and injured in a crash. (MCL 500.3103(2))
  • Collision coverage: This type of motorcycle insurance covers physical damage to a bike as a result of an accident by paying to repair the damage or replace the bike. The amount of damages is determined by the motorcyclists’ actual cash value which is its original purchase price minus the amount by which it has depreciated in value.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: This type of motorcycle insurance covers non-collision-related damage such as damage related to theft, fire, glass damage, vandalism, weather events, falling objects, flood, explosion and contact with birds and animals.  
  • Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM): This provides valuable and necessary coverage for pain and suffering compensation and economic damages in the event that a motorcyclist is injured in an automobile accident where the driver of the car or truck does not have No-Fault car insurance or flees the scene or has inadequate limits on his or her liability insurance policy. 
  • Custom equipment coverage: This covers aftermarket parts and equipment (items that were not originally part of the bike) that were damaged or destroyed in an accident. 
  • OEM endorsement: This coverage ensures that bike repairs and/or parts replacements are done with new parts from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the bike – or at least that the payment of benefits will be based on the fair market value of a new OEM part. Without this coverage, a repair facility or installer can use non-OEM aftermarket crash parts if the insurance company requests it – so long as the insured is notified. (MCL 257.1363)
  • Gap Coverage: This covers difference in value between what a motorcycle is worth and what is owed on it.

Need help? Call the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law

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