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I was recently involved in an accident in Michigan where I was stationary and was rear-ended, hard, resulting in enough damage to my vehicle that it's not drivable. I only have liability insurance and I'm insured in Maryland. Michigan has a 'no fault' law where each driver's own insurance covers their own property damage in the event of an accident. The police report for the accident did mark the other driver as being at fault for the accident.

I need to repair or replace my vehicle, but the at-fault driver's insurance won't cover more than Michigan's $1000 'mini-tort' limit due to the no fault law - they have stated this. The mini-tort provision apparently prevents me from suing the at-fault driver for vehicle damages greater than $1000, too. Also, as far as I can tell, my insurance won't pay for the damage since I don't have comprehensive coverage. I still have to talk to a claims adjuster from my insurance company tomorrow, but everyone I've talked to so far has suggested that I won't be covered by them. FYI I'm insured with Erie, and they don't sell insurance in Michigan.

Does the mini-tort limit really apply in this case since I'm not insured in Michigan? Should my insurance cover me?

I can't imagine that the law would have a hole like this that leaves an insured driver who is the victim of an accident out in the cold, but it seems like it might.

  • I am guessing you don't have underinsured property coverage on your policy either. – Zoredache Dec 30 '15 at 22:30
  • I do actually have uninsured/underinsured property coverage, but I'm not sure that the driver who hit me could actually be considered to be underinsured. Luckily, in my case, my insurance company decided today to cover the damage. I'm pretty sure they didn't have to, though, so I'm still interested in how this situation is handled by law. – Egg Dec 31 '15 at 3:52
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In Michigan, the government says, there are circumstances where as a Michigan resident you can be sued, if you are in an accident with a non-resident driving a non-Michigan vehicle. Erie is a "compliant" company, which under MCL 500.3163(2) means that they have an upper limit of $500,000 in benefits to an out of state party (even though they don't write insurance in Michigan).

  • So, if I'm reading that law correctly, Erie (my insurer) was required by Michigan law as a compliant company to cover my property and personal injury damages? – Egg Dec 16 '16 at 14:12
  • I think, rather, that they have told the state that they volunteer to comply with the no-fault scheme: they could change their minds, but they currently do comply. – user6726 Dec 16 '16 at 16:27
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Since the other party is (allegedly) at fault - were they cited by police? Is there a police report that shows they hit you from behind? Then generally your insurance will cover your loss and go after the other party's insurance to be made whole.

  • They were cited by the police and issued a small fine. I have a copy of the police report showing the scenario and assigning blame to the other party. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to matter as far as getting an insurance payout due to Michigan's laws. My insurance company did end up covering the damage (total loss), but I feel lucky that they did. As far as I can tell neither I nor my insurer would have any recourse under the law to pursue compensation of more than $1000 from the other driver's insurance. – Egg Nov 17 '16 at 3:17

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