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Work with experienced insurance law attorney to handle coverage disputes

In previous posts, we’ve been looking at the issue of entitlement to personal injury protection benefits in Michigan, noting that there are specific requirements for entitlement to PIP benefits under state law and that it important for insurance companies to have a clear understanding of when they are obligated to pay claims under a no-fault policy, and when they are not so obligated.

The case we mentioned last time seems to be testing the limits of personal injury protection entitlement in cases where the use of a motor vehicle is alleged to be “transportational.” The term is connected to the requirement that the motor vehicle must have been used “as a motor vehicle” in connection with the injuries. Prior case law in Michigan has established “transportational use” as a test for this requirement, though the limits of that term are apparently still not clearly defined enough to prevent appeals on the issue.  

In the case currently before the Michigan Supreme Court, the truck driver’s insurance carrier refused to cover his claim. Sources don’t provide reasons for the insurer’s denial of coverage, but the trucker’s lawyers are arguing in the case that the trucker’s injury should, by law, be covered since it was related to the “transportational use” of the vehicle.  

It remains to be seen, of course, how the court resolves the case, whether in favor of the insurance company or the insured. For insurance companies, of course, dealing with disputes over coverage can be costly, but it may be necessary to defend such cases in court when the claim is significant. Insurance companies should, of course, always work with an experienced advocate to ensure that they understand their legal obligations and that they have solid guidance in handling legal disputes and navigating the court system.

Source: Claims Journal, “‘Transportational Use’ Car Insurance Appeal on Michigan Supreme Court Docket,” Ed White, Oct. 6, 2016. 

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