Does an Auto Accident Affect Motorcycle Insurance?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
As of July 1, 2020, big changes were made to motorcycle insurance in Michigan under the new no-fault law.
These changes were made to counter increasing insurance rates and reduce insurance premiums. While an auto accident won’t affect your motorcycle insurance premiums, these changes significantly affect the entitlement benefits of motorcyclists involved in accidents with motor vehicles.
If you are a motorcyclist who has been involved in an auto accident with a motor vehicle and want to file an accident claim, you will need help with the complex Michigan legal process. The knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can guide you through the steps required to receive the compensation you deserve.
Are Motorcycles Covered Under No-Fault Insurance?
Motorcycle insurance is required in Michigan. Motorcycle riders must have insurance coverage in case they cause an accident that results in death, bodily injury, or property damage.
However, unlike drivers of other vehicles, motorcyclists are not required to buy auto no-fault insurance. The no-fault law’s mandatory coverage only applies to motor vehicles covered by the law. Motorcycles are expressly excluded from the definition of a motor vehicle.
As motorcycles are not deemed to be motor vehicles, riders and their passengers are essentially treated as a type of pedestrian.
Is Motorcycle Insurance Different From Auto Insurance?
The new no-fault law came into effect on July 1, 2020. It made several significant alterations to the current laws, including:
- No-fault benefits for motorcyclists injured in car accidents are limited to the no-fault medical coverage levels chosen by the motorist involved in that accident.
- If no-fault benefits coverage isn’t available for the injured motorcyclist, the PIP claim goes through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan. The new no-fault law imposes a limit of $250,000 on this type of claim.
- Injured motorcyclists whose no-fault benefits have been limited by the new no-fault law can sue the at-fault driver to recover excess medical expenses.
How Will My No-Fault Benefits Be Treated?
Motorcyclists are not required to have no-fault coverage. However, if they are injured in a crash with a motor vehicle, they are entitled to collect no-fault benefits. No-fault benefits will pay for medical care, lost wages, and attendant care.
To file a claim for no-fault benefits, an application for no-fault benefits (also known as “written notice of injury”) must be lodged with the responsible insurance company within one year of the date of the accident.
The no-fault priority rules determine which auto insurance company is responsible for paying the injured motorcyclists PIP medical benefits.
- Motorcyclists will receive no-fault benefits firstly from the owner of the motor vehicle’s car insurance provider.
- Next, the rider will seek recompense from the motorbike operator’s motor vehicle insurer, followed by the motorbike owner’s vehicle insurer.
- If no insurance coverage is available from these sources, the injured motorcyclist must file a claim with the Michigan Assigned Claim Plan. (MCL 500.3114(6))
Are There Limits on the Number of My No-Fault Benefits?
You should remember there are limits on the number of no-fault benefits available to riders involved in motorcycle crashes with cars or trucks.
- The injured motorcyclist’s no-fault medical benefits are limited to whatever no-fault coverage the motor vehicle owner has selected. This may be $50,000, $250,000, $500,000 or unlimited. This means that even if the rider has unlimited no-fault insurance on their vehicle, the level of benefits they will receive is determined by the level of coverage chosen by the motor vehicle owner involved in the crash. This could leave you with a shortfall in coverage if your medical expenses, loss of wages, or attendant expenses exceed the level of cover chosen by the vehicle owner.
- If you seek no-fault benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan, your benefits will be limited to $250,000.
Contact Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. for Representation
You can choose to represent yourself during the process, but a motorcycle accident attorney at our law firm can provide legal advice regarding meeting deadlines, gathering evidence, and communicating with the insurance company and their legal team on your behalf.
The experienced lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. offer compassionate legal counsel in Michigan. Our law offices are a place where you can seek advice under the privilege of an attorney-client relationship.
Call us today if you have questions about your situation or require more information about filing a personal injury case. Contact our law firm at 1-866-MICH-LAW to arrange a no-obligation, free consultation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.