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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Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..