Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 128931; Published
Judges Sawyer, Murphy, and Borrello; Unanimous
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: 195 Mich App 705; Link to Opinion
Compulsory Insurance Requirements for Owners or Registrants of Motor Vehicles Required to Be Registered [§3101(1)]
Disqualification for Uninsured Owners or Registrants of Involved Motor Vehicles or Motorcycles [§3113(b)]
In this unanimous published Opinion by Judge Murphy, the Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court interpretation of §3113(b) which precludes recovery of PIP benefits where the injured person was the owner or registrant of an uninsured motor vehicle involved in the accident causing her injuries.
In this case, plaintiff was involved in a single-car automobile accident occurring in Tennessee. Plaintiff purchased and was the owner of the automobile which she was driving home from Texas where she was attending college. Plaintiff did not obtain insurance for the vehicle and, therefore, it was uninsured when the accident occurred in Tennessee.
At the time of the accident, plaintiff’s mother was insured by a policy issued by defendant, League General. Plaintiff was not listed on her mother's policy, however, she alleged that her permanent residence was with her mother.
League General denied coverage under the provisions of §3113(b) which precludes coverage for a resident relative under the policy if the injured person was the owner of an uninsured vehicle involved in the accident.
Plaintiff argued that §3113(b) precluded recovery only if she was required under §3101 to register and insure the vehicle in Michigan. Section 3101 states:
"The owner or registrant of a motor vehicle required to be registered in this state shall maintain security for payment of benefits under personal protection insurance, property protection insurance, and residual liability insurance. Security shall only be required to be in effect during the period the motor vehicle is driven or moved upon highway . . . . "
The Court of Appeals rejected plaintiff’s interpretations of §3113(b) and held that that provision clearly and unambiguously states that the owner of a vehicle involved in an accident, where the vehicle had no security as required by §3101 at the time of the accident, is not entitled to personal protection insurance benefits.