Whose policy covers who? This is a question that may confuse some in the event that someone is injured in an auto accident. Michigan is unique when it comes to auto insurance. You have probably heard the term No Fault Insurance. People assume No Fault means liability only or the state minimum or just the bare necessities that you need to be legal to drive. But that is not the case.
No Fault means that your insurance is responsible for the payment of damage to you and your car. No matter who is at fault, your insurance will pay for you. If you opt not to have collision coverage, you don’t have collision coverage. It doesn’t matter the circumstances. Someone could run a red light, damage your car but YOUR insurance would be responsible to fix the damage to YOUR car; no matter who is at fault, hence “No fault”. There are some exceptions to the rule like mini-tort or property damage coverage.
But what happens if you get injured in an auto accident? Whose insurance would pay for what? Remember NO Fault. No matter who is at fault in the accident your insurance will pay for you. If you get in an accident and it’s not your fault, your insurance would pay for your injuries. Not the one who is responsible for the accident. If you have to go to the hospital because someone hit you, your insurance pays.
When you are a passenger in a car and an accident happens most people would assume that the insurance of the one who is driving the car would pay your medical expenses. But that is not the case. Your insurance pays for you. If you are a passenger in a car, your insurance would pay for your medical expenses. Some people don’t think that its fair, but it is how the law works.
What about when you are a passenger in a car but you don’t have auto insurance? The insurance that would pay would not be the driver of the car but it would be your spouses’ insurance (if they have a separate policy) or if you live with relatives, it would be the insurance of the closest resident relative.
The only time the driver's insurance would pay for a passenger, is when the passenger didn’t have insurance, they live by themselves, or no other resident relative has insurance.
No Fault Law is tricky. You could be walking down the street and a distracted driver could plow right into you and your auto insurance would pay for it. You could be changing a flat tire on your car and it fall on you, your auto insurance would pay for the injuries.
That is why insurance carriers are rating for the household. It’s important information for the insurance company to know. They want to know who lives in a household because there is a chance that they will have to pay out on a claim because of them. Even if you have a 15 year old son who doesn’t have a driver license, the insurance company will want to know that he is in the household. They may not rate him as a driver, but they will want to know if he is a household member. I know most people don’t like it but it is a fact of the matter. They do this because under Michigan No Fault there could be a time where they have to pay out personal injury benefits.
Please feel free to contact us at any of our offices (Wyandotte - 734-284-4141, Flat Rock - 734-782-2720 or Shelby Township - 586-781-6511) if you have questions about your auto insurance policy or Michigan's No Fault law.