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Even After Dye, Who Owns the Vehicle Matters for PIP Coverage

Motor Vehicle Litigation / March 3, 2020

In Dye v Esurance, 504 Mich 167 (2019), the Supreme Court held that MCL 500.3113(b) does not disqualify a person from recovering PIP benefits where the only policy covering their vehicle is in the name of a non-owner or registrant. So long as the vehicle is listed on someone’s policy, MCL 500.3101(1) – and, in turn, § 3113(b) – are satisfied.

However, § 3113(b) and § 3101(1) still require that a vehicle be covered under some policy. Otherwise, someone injured while an occupant of their own vehicle is kicked out of the no-fault system.

In Tackoor, there was no coverage for the Plaintiff’s vehicle because – although it was nominally still listed on her grandfather’s policy, who had given her the vehicle shortly before her accident – the grandfather’s policy contained a clause which automatically terminated coverage for any vehicle he “sold, assigned, gifted or transferred….”

The Tackoor panel also rejected Plaintiff’s argument that the automatic termination clause brought about a “cancellation”; the panel found that the statutes requiring notice of cancellation were inapplicable.

In Tackoor, Esurance was represented by Secrest Wardle in the trial court and on appeal.

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