For most motorcycle lovers, there's nothing that compares to the sights and sounds of open roads. However, motorcycling comes with some of the greatest risks and dangers on the road, for vehicles as well as those on the bike.
That's why the state of Michigan has numerous stringent rules and regulations that govern the operation of bikes on its roadway. So before you cruise through the upper Peninsula or ride along the Great Lakes' shores, ensure that you're aware of all the motorcycle laws and follow all the safety rules while out for a ride.
Here's everything you need to know about motorcycle insurance in Michigan to ride your motorbike safely and legally.
Motorcycle License Requirements in Michigan
To get a motorcycle endorsement, you first need a valid regular driver's license. Once you get that, you must:
- Be a US citizen or staying lawfully within the united states
- Pass both a written test and a visual test at the Secretary of State office
- Complete a certified safety course or pass a rider skills test
- Bring proof to the Secretary of State office that you completed the course or passed the test
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In addition, bring enough money to pay for the CY motorcycle endorsement. The initial endorsement cost stands at $16.00 while renewals are only $5. Before you receive your endorsement, you must submit several forms of documentation to a Secretary of State, including:
- Proof of legal residence in the US, such as a US passport, birth certificate, permanent residency card, or a Michigan driver's license
- Proof of social security number
- Two forms of residency like a bank statement, utility bill, or a credit card bill
Do You Need Motorcycle Insurance in Michigan?
Motorcycle insurance is similar to auto insurance as both provide you with financial protection for damages or injuries incurred while on the road. Similar to most states, you must have insurance in Michigan to ride your motorcycle. The state has mandatory liability coverage limits in place which all motorists must have.
The current minimums are:
- $500,000 for bodily injury per individual
- $15,000 for property damage
- $100,000 for bodily injury in each accident
It's vital to keep in mind that the minimum amount of insurance in Michigan may not provide enough cover in case of a serious accident. Although it's up to you to decide whether you want additional coverage like comprehensive and higher coverage limits, it's always encouraged that all motorists consider these liability coverages.
Additional liability motorcycle insurance provides more financial protection for you and your bike in case you're found at fault during an accident. For instance, if you get into an accident without collision coverage, you'd be on your own to cover the damage costs to your motorcycle. Likewise, if a fire or severe weather damages your bike and you don't have comprehensive motorcycle insurance, you'll have to pay for the damages.
Michigan No-Fault Law Explained
Michigan is a no-fault state. So, if you get injured in an accident, you don't have to sue anyone for your lost wages and medical bills. Your own auto insurance company pays irrespective of whether you were at fault. Either the legally responsible company or your insurer will compensate you once you apply for fault benefits.
Your fault benefits will cover your wage loss, medical care expenses, vehicle modifications, and any other valuable protection to help you recover and rebuild your life. However, motorcycles don't fall under the no-fault law so you don't have to apply for a no-fault insurance policy. Instead, purchase minimum coverage and any other additional policy to protect you against liability for bodily injury and property damage.
What Are the Penalties for No Insurance in Michigan?
Operating your motorcycle without the legally required motorcycle insurance is a misdemeanor and highly punishable by a jail time of up to one year, a $200 to $500 fine, or both. Also, the state disqualifies any uninsured motorist who suffers injuries from an accident involving a truck or a car from recovering no-fault benefits they'd have been entitled to. Remember, you could be held liable for deaths or injuries that you caused.
Medical Coverage Through insurance in Michigan
Michigan doesn't require motorcyclists to have medical coverage. However, you have an option of investing in a first-party medical benefits policy to cover your medical bills in case you're injured in a car crash. A first-party medical policy is coverage that falls under your auto insurance.
It pays for medical expenses you or your passenger incur due to injuries and bruises sustained in an accident, irrespective of fault. Medical benefits include all the care you need to preserve, promote and restore your health. It also offers additional surgical and medical services including dental surgeries and physical therapy.
Michigan Motorcycle Laws
Not all riders in Michigan must wear a helmet. Under the state laws, you can operate without a helmet if:
- You're not less than 21 years old
- Have $20,000 or more in first-party medical benefits
- You've held a CY motorcycle endorsement for two years or more
The same also applies to passengers who want to opt-out of wearing helmets, save for the motorcycle endorsement.
The state requires you to have either a windshield, shatterproof goggles, or a face shield if you're riding at a speed higher than 35mph. Michigan doesn't allow the act of riding between lanes of stopped or slowed automobile traffic. However, you can share lanes with other motorists.
Finding the Best Insurance Company for Your Needs
When shopping for insurance in Michigan, opt for standalone policies as they're more flexible and customizable than adding your motorcycle insurance to your car insurance policy. To find the best and most affordable policy, shop around and get quotes from different companies.
This enables you to compare the coverage options and insurance costs. Additionally, you can read customer reviews of multiple companies to find out what other people have to say about their services before committing yourself to one.