Michigan Motorcycle Insurance: Five Key Points You Need to Know when getting a Quote
Getting a quote for motorcycle insurance in Michigan can be tricky. That's because there are crazy laws out there that frankly don't make any sense. But it's important for you to understand how Michigan Motorcycle Insurance works before you request a quote. I'm going to clarify some of the terminology, eliminate confusion, and help you make an informed decision before you request a motorcycle insurance quote.
There are several key points you need to know:
1. Many Michigan motorcycle insurance policies give you the option of selecting either medical benefits or medical payments (or neither if you choose to decline both) Medical benefits coverage is just like medical payments coverage with the only difference being that medical benefits coverage can pay up to a lifetime, whereas medical payments coverage ceases after three years from an accident. That is the only difference between the two as far as coverage is concerned.
2. Only medical benefits coverage will satisfy Michigan's no-helmet law. You need to carry at least $20,000 in medical benefits coverage to satisfy the no-helmet law. Medical payments coverage does not satisfy the no helmet law.
3. Coverage in the event of an accident: This is where Michigan law really gets weird!
If a bike collides with an automobile, the biker is automatically covered for unlimited lifetime medical benefits under the auto driver's auto insurance policy. Your injuries will be fully covered. (Note: it is also important to carry uninsured motorist coverage, as 1 in every 6 motorists are uninsured)
But if a bike wipes out, runs off the road and hits something, or collides with another motorcycle, the only medical coverage a biker has is their medical coverage on their own motorcycle insurance policy. This is where exposure is a problem! If a biker declines both medical benefits and medical payments coverage, there is no medical coverage in this scenario.
4. Understanding Michigan's MCCA fees. In Michigan, you are required to pay $175 per year, per vehicle towards a state mandated catastrophe fund (on July 1 that will increase to $186 per year). This fund kicks in when injuries exceed a half million dollars, and pays anything over the half million. For motorcyclists, you get a major break and a major bummer!
major break: unlike auto insurance, where you are required to have medical coverage to cover the first half million dollars, motorcycles are not required to carry a half million in medical coverage. But they are covered anyway under the auto insurance policy of the vehicle they collided with.
major bummer: once again, a one-vehicle accident on a motorcycle, or a collision with another motorcycle leaves the biker hung out to dry if they are not carrying the optional medical coverage. Furthermore, a biker is excluded from the MCCA catastrophe fund in a one-vehicle accident (even though you're still required to pay the MCCA fees.
5. Quick tip for bikers who have bikes 25 years or older. If your bike satisfies the criteria for being able to register as a historical vehicle, you can save 80% of the MCCA fee. That's a savings of $140 per year, per vehicle. I added this one because there are surprisingly a number of bikers who are eligible for historic plates that are not taking advantage of the automatic savings.
Michigan motorcycle insurance laws are confusing. I hope this helps you understand some of the concepts, as confusing as they may be. If you still have any questions, feel free to drop me a line or call me, and I'll be happy to answer any questions you have.
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What is SR22 insurance?
An SR22 filing is not really insurance at all..... But rather it's attached to auto insurance policy. The Indiana BMV may require you to carry an SR22 filing for a specified length of time. If an auto policy with an SR22 attached ever lapses or cancels,the insurance company is required to notify the Indiana BMV. When that happens your license get suspended until you put another active SR22 filing in force. So in other words, an SR22 is just proof to the Indiana BMV that you're caring at least the minimum liability auto insurance.
What type of auto insurance policy do I need?
That depends on your circumstances. But in general, if you own a vehicle or have a vehicle registered in your name, you need to have the SR22 filing attached to a regular auto insurance policy. If you do not own a vehicle or have a vehicle registered in your name, you need to take out what's called a non-owners auto policy (a.k.a named operator policy). Either one of these two policies will allow you to attach an SR22 filing.
Where can I find the cheapest rates on an SR22?
That totally depends on who you quote with. The best option is to quote with an independent agency who carries multiple SR22 friendly companies. Most agents who only sell for one company will not be able to help you. Find an independent agent who has several SR22 friendly companies to quote you with. That gives you your best chance of finding the best rates for an SR22 filing.
Do I have to carry full coverage with an SR22?
No. Having comprehensive and collision coverage on your vehicle is optional with an SR22. The only thing the Indiana BMV is concerned with is that you're carrying at least the state minimum liability coverage. That's it! (however, if you're making payments on your vehicle you can better believe that your finance companies will demand that you carry full coverage until your loan is paid off)
What reasons do the state of Indiana require SR22 filings?
There are multiple reasons why the Indiana BMV may require an SR 22 filing. But some general examples would be getting a DUI, driving under suspension, miscellaneous license suspension, or getting caught driving without auto liability insurance .
How long do I have to carry the SR22 filing?
Usually the requirement is three years. However, this can vary. You need to check with the BMV to know for sure. It's very important to know when your SR22 requirement expires because dropping the SR22 too early will cause your license to be suspended. Keeping an SR22 longer than you're required will cost you more because all companies charge extra for the SR22 filing.
SUMMARY: I hope this answered a lot of your questions regarding SR22 filings. If you still have any questions or would like me to explain things further, feel free to give me a call or drop me an email. I will be happy to answer your questions.
If you would like to get a quote from my agency click on one of the two links below, and I will run your information through all of my SR22 friendly companies that I have and find you the cheapest rate. And as always, I handle all quotes personally and privately.
Get a Quote with Lyles Insurance here if You OWN a Vehicle.
Get a Quote with Lyles Insurance here if you DON'T own a Vehicle
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Virginia Boat Insurance: Why Attaching Your Boat to a Homeowners Policy is a Mistake
Buying boat insurance coverage in Virginia is easy. But finding the right coverage for your boat depends on what type of boat insurance policy you buy. It is very common for a homeowner that buys a boat to simply attach the boat to their homeowners insurance policy. It is simple and easy to do. And it usually costs a few bucks less than a stand alone boat insurance policy. However, as you are about to see, there are major shortcomings with coverage using that strategy.
When you compare a stand alone boat insurance policy versus a boat attached to a homeowners policy (HO), there is no comparison! Stand alone boat insurance coverage wins over a boat attached to a HO every time:
Other coverages not usually found on a HO policy that are usually found on a stand alone boat insurance policy:
*** Bonus tip: With most stand alone boat insurance policies, you get a discount for taking a safety course. Now that the state of Virginia has required all boat operators to take a boat safety course, this helps close the premium gap between the two. So be sure to inquire about the boat safety course discount.
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Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..