Will Michigan Change the Rules in the Middle of the Game? No Fault Insurance Laws Under Fire For Motorcyclists
Motorcycle insurance costs are rising dramatically, and in Michigan, residents pay far more than motorists in nearby states. Michigan riders have had the luxury since 1973 of having unlimited medical coverage as a result of the No Fault Insurance Law, but the chickens may be coming home to roost, as it were, and those days might be quickly relegated to the past.
In cases where a catastrophic injury leaves a motorcyclist with a lifelong disability, the unlimited coverage is a blessing, but if Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, has his way, all that will change.
Lund introduced a bill on Sept. 14 of this year to change the medical coverage provisions of No Fault Insurance.
The new law would provide insured motorists with a minimum of $250,000 medical coverage, but if you don’t have coverage? Bikers would have an option, but the option would be to buy additional medical coverage of $500,000, $1 million or $5 million.
If you’ve ever taken a spill on your bike (or had problems with your appendix) which resulted in a hospital stay of any length, you know how fast the bills add up. I recently spoke to a friend whose three-day hospital stay totaled $20,000 – and still counting…
The costs of this additional coverage is still to be determined, but you can bet your saddlebags and their contents that it won’t be cheap.
As it is, motorcyclists in Michigan already pay an average annual premium of $1,035, and that’s according to to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
How, you ask, does that compare with neighboring states? Yearly costs of $693 in Ohio; $700 in Indiana, $798 in Illinois and $641 in Wisconsin mean Michigan residents are paying a serious premium to live in the Great Lakes State.
Representatives of the nonprofit Insurance Institute of Michigan say insurers are currently facing payouts of $74 billion in long-term medical liabilities for accident victims who’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, and that’s a serious pile of cash.It’s expected that Michigan will see rate increases doubling in less than 10 years.
Proponents believe limited medical coverage under Lund’s measure will help alleviate rising costs, and they may be right, but where does that leave riders?
It likely leaves them out in the cold.
Either way, changing the law would be a gamble, and gambling is illegal in Michigan.
Tips for buying your motorcycle insurance, coverage you need:
- Collision to pay for damage caused to your vehicle in an accident with another vehicle or any stationary object.
- Comprehensive to cover such things as fire, hail, wind, vandalism, hitting an animal, etc.
- Towing / Pickup
- Medical payment or personal injury protection to cover the medical bills resulting from an accident.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist to protect us when the other driver is at-fault and does not have coverage or assets out of which your bills can be paid.