Detroit Personal Injury Lawyers Fighting For The Injured

Proposed Michigan Law May Disqualify Renters from PIP Benefits Following a Collision

According to a recently published article, a proposed rental car law pending in the Michigan Senate may disqualify a person who rents a car from receiving No Fault Personal Injury Protection benefits if they sustain injuries in a car accident. The proposed law, Senate Bill 870, reads:

“A person is not entitled to be paid personal protection insurance benefits [i.e., No Fault PIP benefits including medical expense and wage loss reimbursements] for accidental bodily injury if at the time of the accident…the person was using a rental motor vehicle and was not an additional authorized driver as defined in the rental agreement applicable to the rental motor vehicle.”

This means only an additional authorized driver is eligible for No Fault insurance coverage after sustaining injuries while operating a motor vehicle or utilizing a rental car in a car crash.

Some sources believe that the bill’ sole sponsor did not intend for the bill to work this way, but rather to deny such benefits and coverage to drivers who are not identified as the primary driver or additional drivers in the rental agreement. However, as of now, the proposed law does not read this way and may create a large problem.

The Denial of PIP Benefits to Otherwise Insured Drivers

If Senate Bill 870 were altered to include the changes as stated above, it would still deny No Fault coverage and PIP benefits to individuals who are otherwise lawfully insured. For example, if a person rents a car in Michigan and allows another person to drive the rental and that person is involved in an accident and sustains injuries as a result, that person would not be able to receive benefits unless he or she was named on the policy. However, if that other person was a Michigan resident and had full coverage under a No Fault car insurance policy, his or her existing available coverage may be negated according to Senate Bill 870. This, of course, is another large, potential problem.

If you have been involved in a car accident and worry that you may not get the financial compensation necessary to cover medical expenses and other damages, we urge you to contact our Detroit personal injury lawyers at Goodman Acker P.C. We have ample experience handling car accident cases that involve the denial of PIP benefits and No Fault coverage.