The latest Michigan insurance news is that motorcyclists and their passengers are no longer required to wear helmets as long as they are 21 years old and they carry enough coverage.
Many people are applauding this state law change, which has been pursued for decades, and are considering this a personal responsibility and freedom victory. Others, though, are warning that this decision will lead to more deaths and severe injuries on the roads, and that motorcycle insurance costs will skyrocket. They have also noted that it may be difficult to enforce the requirements of this bill.
Similar legislation has been vetoed twice by former Governor Jennifer Granholm. However, the current Governor, Rick Snyder, has now signed the bipartisan supported bill. The law went into effect right away, but it does have its restrictions.
Motorcycle riders and passengers who choose to ride without a helmet must be at least 21 years old and must also be covered by a minimum of $20,000 in medical insurance. These helmet-free motorcyclists must also have had their motorcycle endorsements for a minimum of 2 years or they will need to pass a safety course.
The legislation was sponsored by Senator Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), who stated that this medical insurance is an optional addition to motorcycle coverage and is sold in increments of $5,000. As simple as that may sound, motorcycle owners have since reported that they are struggling to determined which form of coverage they require, and how to go about buying the insurance they need to toss the helmets aside.
Moreover, the officials from two motorcycle insurance companies, Progressive and AAA, have stated that they have yet to determine how much a medical insurance policy worth $20,000 should cost.
A Michigan State Police spokesperson, Shannon Banner, has said that the law doesn’t require a motorcyclist to carry proof of medical insurance coverage as long as they have passed a safety course or have had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years.
When this insurance news was announced, Banner explained the problem that “Officers may not stop a motorcycle operator for not wearing a helmet based on the mere possibility the operator or passenger may not be exempt from the requirement to wear a helmet.”