If I Use My Car In Michigan, Do I Have to Buy No-Fault Car Insurance?

I'll Be Right There

Request Free Consultation

If I Use My Car In Michigan, Do I Have to Buy Michigan No-Fault Car Insurance?

Out-Of-State Car Accident Injury Lawyers

Individuals and families from outside of Michigan use our roadways every day. Whether it is people visiting family, new arrivals from other states setting up residency in Michigan, or tourists visiting the state, car, truck and motorcycles accident unfortunately do occur.

But what happens when a car accident in Michigan involves a person with out-of-state insurance. Can that person obtain the benefits of Michigan no-fault insurance? Can the person make a claim for pain and suffering?

Our law office frequently receives telephone calls from individuals injured in a car accident in Michigan but maintain auto insurance through an out-of-state policy. For example, this week I received a call from a woman who was involved in a rear-end accident in Detroit. She was insured with a major auto insurance carrier, but it was an Indiana policy. She wanted to know if she was entitled to Michigan no-fault benefits because she was injured from the accident and missing work.

I explained she may be entitled to Michigan no-fault benefits, but it depended upon her residence status and much time her vehicle had spent in Michigan. Under Michigan law, nonresidents who are operate their motor vehicle in Michigan need to be careful. If their vehicle is in Michigan for more than 30 days during the calendar year, that vehicle must maintain Michigan car insurance.

Under MCL 500.3102(1), a non-resident owner or registered owner of a motor vehicle or motorcycle not registered in Michigan cannot operate, or permit the motor vehicle or motorcycle, to be operated in Michigan for a total of more than 30 days in any calendar year, unless the person purchases Michigan no-fault insurance.

So if you have a vehicle that is operated in Michigan for more than 30 days, you need to call an insurance agent and make sure it is insured properly. This can be the difference between getting benefits such as lost wages and the payment of medical bills, and not being able to obtain anything.

Interestingly, nonresidents who don’t have any insurance on their cars can still pursue a claim for pain and suffering. Under Michigan law, specifically MCL 500.3135(2)(c), an owner or registered owner of a motor vehicle required to be registered in Michigan must have car insurance to be able to make a claim for pain and suffering.

But if the owner is not a resident of Michigan, and the vehicle is not operated in Michigan for more than 30 days (and therefore the vehicle is not required to have Michigan insurance), that rule does not apply and the individual can pursue a claim for pain and suffering.

Michigan accidents involving out-of-state insurance auto policies can be tricky. If you have been involved in a Michigan car accident, but have auto insurance in another state, give our Michigan auto accident lawyers a call at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). We can evaluate your case and answer any questions you may have.