Which Car Insurance Company Pays My No-Fault Claim?

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Which Car Insurance Company Is Responsible For Paying My No-Fault Claim?

which car insurance pays

Which Michigan car insurance company is responsible for paying my claim? That’s an important question. The Michigan No-Fault Law provides a framework for determining which insurance company is responsible for paying no-fault benefits. This is often referred to as the “order of priority.” The insurance company responsible for paying has the “highest” order of priority.

Many factors are important in determining which insurance company is responsible for paying benefits. For example, where you live or are “domiciled” when the crash occurred is important. Other factors are whether you were in an employer’s vehicle, Uber or Lyft, or on a motorcycle when the crash occurred. The following is a breakdown of the order of priority based on some of the above factors.

Car Accident While Inside the Vehicle

Under MCL 500.3114(1), if you are inside a vehicle you are considered an “occupant.” If you are an occupant of a when a collision occurs, the order for who pays first-party no-fault benefits is the following:

  1. Your own auto insurance
  2. Resident relative (a resident relative is not a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, but is a spouse or typically a blood relative)
  3. Michigan Assigned Claims Plan

First, you start with your own car insurance. This is true even if your vehicle had nothing to do with the crash. Your own car insurance is always first in line to pay medical bills and lost wages if you are injured.

If you don’t have insurance, but you live with a relative or spouse who does have auto insurance, then that carrier must pay the no-fault benefits. For example, you don’t have auto insurance but you live with your mom and she has State Farm Insurance. In this scenario, State Farm must pay the claim. Again this occurs even if your mother’s car was not involved in the accident.

If there is no auto insurance at that level, then the claimant must go through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan. This Plan, which was created by the legislature, basically means the State of Michigan will assign a car insurance carrier to handle and pay your claim. To get an insurance carrier assigned, an application must be completed. It is important to contact a Michigan car accident lawyer to help you with the application process.

Car Accident While Outside a Vehicle

The law used to be different, but now the order of priority for people who are injured in a car accident while outside a vehicle is the same as those injured inside a vehicle. MCL 500.3115.

But what does outside a vehicle mean? This means individuals like pedestrians, people riding a bicycle, moped, scooter or even sitting on the roof of a car during a car accident. It is anybody not physically inside the vehicle, although limited exceptions may apply, such as people sitting inside the bed of a pick-up truck.

Which Car Insurance Pays No-Fault Benefits After a Motorcycle Accident?

Whether you are driving a motorcycle or a passenger on a motorcycle, the order of priority for which the car insurance company is responsible for paying no-fault benefits is the same. However, notice the big differences when compared to standard motor vehicle accidents:

  1. The insurer of the owner or registrant of the motor vehicle involved in the accident
  2. The insurer of the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the accident
  3. The insurer of the operator of the motorcycle involved in the accident
  4. The insurer of the owner of motorcycle involved in the accident
  5. The Michigan Assigned Claims Plan

There is also one important rule. No-fault benefits are available to individuals on a motorcycle only if a motor vehicle (like a car or truck) is involved in causing the injury. MCL 500.3114(5). This does not mean the motorcycle must make physical contact with a motorcycle. The statute only says “involvement of a motor vehicle while an operator or passenger of a motorcycle.” This is why is critical to contact a Michigan motorcycle injury lawyer to find out your rights after a crash.

Last, if the owner of the motorcycle does not have insurance on his bike at the time of the crash, then he cannot obtain no-fault benefits, even if a motor vehicle caused the crash. MCL 500.3113(d).

What If I Am Injured While Driving a Car Owned By My Employer?

Under MCL 500.3114(3), an employee, his or her spouse, or a resident relative domiciled in the same household, who suffers an injury while an occupant of a motor vehicle owned or registered by the employer must get no-fault benefits through the employer’s auto insurance company.

A lot is going on here. First, this law covers not only the employee, but also the spouse and any resident relative living in the household at the time. For example, a man works for General Motors and GM supplies them with a car. While driving the vehicle, his daughter gets into an auto accident. The auto insurance for GM must pay no-fault benefits for this claim.

Second, the employee or family member must be an occupant of the car or truck when the crash occurs. If the accident occurred while they were outside the employer-provided vehicle, then the order or priority goes back to (1) your own auto insurance, (2) the auto insurance of a resident relative, or (3) the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.

What if I’m Inside an Uber or Lyft When a Car Accident Occurs?

If you are injured while inside an Uber or Lyft, your own auto insurance company must pay the first-party claim. Again, this is true even though your vehicle is not involved in the crash. However, if you don’t have auto insurance, then the auto insurance in effect at the time of crash for the Uber or Lyft must pay the benefits. MCL 500.3114(2)(g).

Bus Accidents and Taxi Cabs

Injuries that occur on a school bus, city bus, or inside a taxi cab are treated the same way as an injury occurring from a ride-share accident. The law says the car insurance for the person injured must pay the claim. However, if they don’t have auto insurance, or do not live with a resident relative with insurance, then the auto insurance carrier for the bus company or taxi cab company must pay the benefits.

Call the Best Michigan Car Accident Lawyers to Find Out Your Rights

The order of priority is a very important part of the Michigan No-Fault Law. Knowing which car insurance company is responsible for paying no-fault benefits is essential. If you or a loved one has any questions about which car insurance company should pay, please call our office toll-free at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). We are here to help and we can make sure your benefits get paid.