Michigan recently overhauled its no-fault auto insurance law. For the first time in decades, motorists had new decisions to make about their personal injury protection (PIP) benefits and liability insurance. Understanding the changes is essential so that you know what coverage is available to you if an accident occurs.
Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance Laws Changed
Michigan’s no-fault insurance system dates back to 1973. It remained largely the same until recently when the state legislature voted to massively change the system.
The legislature changed nearly every aspect of the massive Michigan No-Fault Act. Here are the changes that will affect most drivers:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) no longer automatically provides unlimited lifetime medical benefits if you’re injured in a car accident. For the first time ever, you can choose from these options for PIP coverage:
- Unlimited coverage per person per accident, the same as before
- Up to $250,000 in coverage per person per accident
- Up to $500,000 in coverage per person per accident
- Up to $250,000 in coverage per person per accident with exclusions
- Up to $50,000 in coverage per person per accident, an option only for Medicaid recipients and those who meet other standards
- PIP opt-out, an option if you’re covered by Medicare A & B and meet other tests.
As before, your PIP benefits cover you no matter who is at fault for an accident. In addition, it pays for lost wages and other expenses for up to three years.
Under the law, if you don’t make a selection, your coverage will automatically revert to unlimited choice. This may be a slightly more expensive selection but provides the most protection if the worst happens.
No matter which option you choose, the new law limits the amount of attendant care your family or friends may provide to you. It is now limited to 56 hours per week if the care is provided at home and by a family member or friend.
You should also check whether your health insurance covers car accidents, because that may influence your decision about how much PIP you need. But remember that if an auto accident renders you unable to work again, you would lose that medical insurance if it is provided through your employer. That would leave you on the hook for expenses not covered by PIP. We always recommend buying unlimited PIP coverage.
Additional important changes:
- Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (BI/PD). If you are at fault for an accident where someone was injured, your bodily injury protection covers your legal defense expenses. Your coverage also pays the settlement or judgment lodged against you for the victim’s pain and suffering and economic damages like lost wages and medical bills that exceed PIP benefits. The minimum coverage limits are:
- $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident
- $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident can be selected if you sign a warning form acknowledging the risk you are taking with such low insurance limits.
If the new Michigan auto insurance law has left you with questions about your coverage, check with your insurance agent so that you fully understand the terms of your policy.
Contact a Detroit Injury Lawyer if You’ve Been Injured
The Detroit car accident lawyers at Christensen Law help accident victims recover compensation for their losses after serious collisions in Michigan. If you’ve been hurt and need help understanding the insurance options available to you, turn to us. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.