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Auto-Owners Insurance Company v State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company; (COA-PUB, 3/5/1991; RB #1448)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 127820; Published    
Judges Doctoroff, Maher, and Cavanagh; Unanimous; Per Curiam  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  187 Mich App 617; Link to Opinion alt   

Entitlement to Benefits for Out of State Accidents [§3111]  
General Rule of Priority [§3114(1)]  
Exception for Motorcycle Injuries [§3114(5)]

Not Applicable   

In this unanimous published per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals ruled that the priority provisions of §3114, and not §3111, determined which no-fault insurer is obligated to pay no-fault benefits to a Michigan resident injured in another state.  

The claimant was injured in a collision with an automobile while riding as a passenger on a motorcycle in South Dakota on August 31, 1988. The injured person was insured by State Farm under a policy providing no-fault coverage on his automobile. The owner and operator of the motorcycle was insured by Auto Owners under a policy providing no-fault coverages on an automobile. On appeal, State Farm argued that the trial court erroneously determined that §3111 set forth a priority provision for determining priority of insurers for no-fault benefits payable for injuries suffered in out-of-state accidents.  

The Court of Appeals agreed and held that §3111 determines only whether a person qualifies for personal injury protection benefits when involved in a motor vehicle accident outside the state of Michigan. The provisions of §3114, however, determine the priority of insurers liable to pay those benefits. Section 3114(5) sets forth the priorities as to which insurer pays no-fault benefits to an injured person suffering injury arising from a motor vehicle accident while operating or as a passenger of a motorcycle. The case was remanded for entry of summary disposition in favor of State Farm.  

Lansing car accident lawyer Stephen Sinas is the lead editor of the appellate case summaries published on this site regarding the Michigan auto insurance law. To learn more about how Stephen Sinas and how the Sinas Dramis Law Firm can help you if you have been injured in a Michigan auto accident, visit

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