NEWS No PIP Claims for Out-of-State Accidents

No PIP Claims for Out-of-State Accidents

In a published decision, a Michigan appeals court held that the Michigan Distributed Claims Program and the Michigan Auto Insurance Arrangement Fund should have received summary disposition because plaintiff was injured in an out-of-state auto accident.

In overturning the lower court’s decision, Judge Kristina Robinson Garrett said the statutes governing eligibility for claims brought through the MACP require claimants seeking benefits to prove that the accident leading up to the claim occurred in Michigan.

“because [plaintiff’s] The accident occurred in Ohio, and the defendant has the right to deny his claim for PIP benefits,” she wrote.

The published decision is Steinhouse v. MAIPF (MiLW 07-106247, 6 pages). Judges Mark J. Cavanagh and Kirsten Frank Kelly joined Garrett.

conflict of interests

Markise Steanhouse was injured in a car accident in Ohio in November 2019. He applied for PIP benefits in September 2020 through the Michigan Allocated Claims Program (MACP).

Steanhouse filed suit against MACP and the Michigan Auto Insurance Placement Facility (MAIPF) for refusing to assign insurance companies to pay him personal protection insurance (PIP) benefits.

MACP and MAIPF motions for summary resolution. They argued that to claim PIP benefits through MACP under MCL 500.3172(1), the accident giving rise to the claim must have occurred in Michigan. And since there is no real question of fact that Steanhouse’s accident occurred in Ohio, he is not entitled to PIP benefits through the MACP.

In his response, Steanhouse challenged defendant’s interpretation of MCL 500.3172(1). He claims that he is entitled to PIP benefits under MCL 500.3111 because he was involved in a motor vehicle accident in the United States; he was a passenger in the vehicle and was injured; and he is a Michigan resident.

He added that MCL 500.3113 — which defines who is not entitled to PIP benefits — makes no mention of out-of-state accidents involving in-state residents.

The defendant maintains that MCL 500.3172 applies here rather than MCL 500.3111 as it applies specifically to MACP and MAIPF.

The Wayne County Circuit Court denied the defendants’ motion for summary disposition, saying that “MCL 500.3172 conflicts with MCL 500.3111 and otherwise cannot be construed to deprive Michigan residents of designated coverage simply because they were injured in an accident in another state.”

The trial court also denied the defendants’ motion for reconsideration, explaining that it “did not believe that an uninsured Michigan resident who was injured in an accident in another state lost his right to coverage through MAIPF.”

The appeal followed.


The MACP is operated by the MAIPF and distributes no-fault insurance claims made by persons without PIP insurance to participating insurers.

But a claim through MACP is not the same as a claim under a no-fault policy. No-fault laws set different eligibility requirements for PIP benefits in each situation.

Here, it was disputed whether the parties were entitled to PIP benefits through the MACP when the accident giving rise to the claim occurred outside of Michigan. The answer, Garrett said, lies in the proper interpretation of MCL 500.3172(1).

“Entitlement to PIP Benefits through MACP […] Depends on meeting the claimant eligibility criteria set forth in MCL 500.3172(1), which states in relevant part: “A person entitled to claim compensation for accidental personal injury arising out of the possession, operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle is as if Either way, motor vehicles in this state can claim personal protection insurance benefits through designated claims programs,” Garrett noted. “Thus, to be eligible for benefits through the MACP, a claimant must demonstrate that his injury was caused by ‘owning, operating, maintaining, or using a motor vehicle as a in this state.'”

Since Steanhouse’s accident occurred in Ohio, the language of the statute clearly states that MACP and MAIPF are not obliged to provide him with PIP benefits.

“Our Supreme Court has suggested the same before, stating in a footnote: ‘Plaintiff was out of state when the accident occurred. Had the accident occurred in state, he would have been protected by a no-fault designation claims plan,'” Garrett wrote . “Although the maxim rollman [v. Hawkeye-Security Ins Co.], we adopt this interpretation here. “

Steenhouse’s argument that using “or” in the statute to mean coverage through the MACP is appropriate doesn’t get any better, with Garrett saying his interpretation is “wrong.”

“Applying the clause ‘state motor vehicle as a motor vehicle’ only to ‘use’ violates the plain language of MCL 500.3172(1),” the judge wrote. “In fact, the clause necessarily modifies each The nouns preceding it: ownership, operation, maintenance, and use. Otherwise, “ownership, management rights, [and] maintenance’ will not be modified and will not have any context. “

Garrett also pointed out that the trial court’s conclusion — that MCL 500.3172 conflicts with MCL 500.3111 — misapplied the principle of statutory interpretation.

“Given their different purposes, MCL 500.3111 and MCL 500.3172 could be harmonized to achieve the intent of the no-fault act,” she said.

The provisions in these two regulations apply in different contexts – nothing in MCL 500.3111 refers to MACP or MAIPF.

“Introducing statutory language related to claims brought under a no-fault policy governing claims brought through the MACP is inconsistent with the plain language of the statute,” Garrett wrote. “Because Steanhouse seeks PIP benefits through the MACP, he must comply with MCL 500.3172 ’, not MCL 500.3111, to qualify. Thus, the trial court erred in denying defendant’s motion for summary disposition because the statutes could be read harmoniously to achieve their respective purposes.”

The matter returned to Wayne County for further litigation.

If you would like to comment on this story, please contact Cory Linsner at [email protected].

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