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Titan Insurance Company v Farmers Insurance Exchange; (COA-PUB, 5/23/2000; RB #2145)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 214449; Published  
Judges Holbrook, Jr., Kelly, and Collins; Unanimous; Per Curiam  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  241 Mich App 258; Link to Opinion alt  

Recoupment Between Equal Priority Insurers [§3115(2)]  
One-Year Back Rule Limitation [§3145(1)]  
Applicability of Limitations Period to Claims by Insurers Against Other Insurers [§3145]

Not Applicable  

In this unanimous published per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals held that the one year period of limitations contained in section 3145(1) did not apply to a claim by Titan against Farmers for recoupment of PIP benefits paid by Titan to the injured accident victims.

In this case, Titan and Farmers Insurance Exchange were insurers of equal priority under section 3115(2) of the No-Fault Act, which provides that when two or more persons are in the same order of priority to provide personal protection insurance benefits, an insurer paying benefits due is entitled to partial recoupment from the other insurers in the same order of priority.

In this case, it was undisputed that Titan and Farmers were insurers in the same order of priority for purposes of the PIP benefits paid by Titan. However, Farmers claimed that the one year statute of limitations contained in section 3145(1) barred Titan's claim for partial recoupment. Titan, on the other hand, contended that the claim was subject to the general six year limitation period for personal actions as set forth in MCLA 600.5813.

The Court of Appeals held that the six year statute of limitations applied. Although the claim arises under the No-Fault Act, claims under section 3115(2) provide a specific right of partial recoupment by one no-fault insurer of PIP benefits paid by another no-fault insurer of the same priority, independent of an accident victim's right to payment of PIP benefits:

"Thus, this case is distinguishable from those in which an insurer's right to recovery or reimbursement from another insurer was found to be subrogated to the insured's right to recovery and therefore subject to the period of limitation in section 3 J 45."

The court held that because there is no statute of limitations directly applicable to Titan's claim for partial recoupment, the limitations period provided for in MCLA 600.5813 applies. Because Titan filed its action within the six year limitations period, its right to recoupment of PIP benefits was not time barred.

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