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Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Michigan is located in the Midwest region of the United States near the Great Lakes. The name Michigan is derived from the Ojibwa word “mishigamaa” which translates to “large water.” It is the largest state east of the Mississippi River in terms of area. Some would say that this state is shaped like a mitten, hence one of its nicknames is “The Mitten State.” The state consists of 2 peninsulas and is the only state to be divided this way. Michigan has the longest freshwater coastal area of any state in the U.S.

This is a state well known for freshwater fishing, recreational boating, as well as its beautiful nature. The economy in this state is extremely diverse and includes influences from the automotive industry, tourism, natural resources, technology, aerospace and manufacturing. The city of Detroit is home to various professional sports teams including the Lions (NFL), Pistons (NBA), Tigers (MLB), and Red Wings (NHL). Other nicknames for this state include: “The Great Lakes State,” “The Wolverine State” and “Water Winter Wonderland.”

Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

If you own a motorcycle and plan on cruising through the mitten-shaped state, you are going to need insurance. Although not many people think they’ll ever get into an accident, they are extremely common. If you get into a crash on your motorcycle and don’t have insurance, not only will you find yourself in legal trouble, but if you are “at-fault” the other driver could file a lawsuit against you. It is always smart to make sure you have enough insurance to make you feel comfortable as a driver.

How to Establish Financial Responsibility in Michigan

In many states people are allowed to establish financial responsibility a variety of ways including: cash deposits, bonds, and sometimes even trust funds. In this particular state, you only have one legal option: buying liability coverage.

  • Liability Insurance – Your only option to prove responsibility is to buy liability coverage through a licensed insurance provider.

Note:  Your policy will need to provide both bodily injury and property damage coverage.

Motorcycles / Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined

If you are unsure about the classification of your two-wheeled vehicle, you can contact the Michigan Secretary of State at the following number: (888) SOS-MICH; (888) 767-6424. They will help classify your 2-wheeled vehicle and determine what steps need to be taken before you can legally drive. Below are the definitions for various 2-wheeled vehicles for the state of Michigan.

Motorcycle: A motor vehicle with a saddle or a seat for the driver that has not more than 3 wheels in contact with the ground while riding. This vehicle exceeds 2-brake horsepower and can travel faster than 30 mph on a level surface.

Moped: A vehicle with 50 cc engine displacement or less, 2-brake horsepower or less, that cannot reach 30 mph or greater speeds on a level surface. These also must have an automatic transmission.
Now that you are aware of the various definitions, you need to understand the state minimum requirements for liability protection.

Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements

Below are the required minimums for liability coverage in Michigan that need to be met before you can register or drive your motorcycle.

Liability Insurance:

  • $20,000 bodily injury per person

  • $40,000 bodily injury per accident

  • $10,000 property damage per accident

Keep in mind that these amounts are only the minimums and may not be adequate coverage in a serious accident. If you would like to think about getting better protection, ask your insurance provider about increasing your limits. Also understand that you are not protected under the “No Fault Insurance Act” because motorcycles are specifically excluded.

Michigan Law: Safety & Licensing Requirements

Each state has specific rider requirements that must be met while you operate a motorcycle. It is important to be aware of whether you need to wear a helmet, eye protection, as well as whether you need to use headlights during the daytime. Additionally, you need to know the type of licensing required to operate a motorcycle.

  • Helmets – Most drivers are required to wear helmets in the state of Michigan. Only individuals that: are at least 21 years of age, have had a motorcycle endorsement for over 2 years, and have proof of insurance with over $20,000 in medical benefits can opt out of helmet usage.
  • Eye Protection – Everyone is required to have some sort of eye-protection while traveling at speeds of 35 mph or greater.
  • Headlights – It is recommended to use your headlights during the daytime in Michigan.
  • Licensing – You must obtain a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license before you can legally ride. Individuals that are under 18 years of age must finish a rider education course approved by the state before they can apply for permits. If you are over 18 years of age and have completed a certified safety course, you may be exempt from taking a skills test.

Proof of Insurance in Michigan

In every state, you are required to have proof of insurance whenever you drive your motorcycle. Proof is required so that in the event you are involved in an accident, you can exchange insurance information with another driver. Additionally, if a police officer pulls you over, they will conduct routine checks to make sure drivers have sufficient insurance. If you are pulled over without any sort of proof, you will face various penalties.

  • Insurance ID Card – All individuals that purchase a valid insurance policy will be issued an identification card. This contains information about your policy including amount of coverage and date of expiration.
  • Insurance Certificate – If you have not been issued an identification card, you can use a certificate as long as it contains proper information about your policy. This should include provider information, amounts of coverage, vehicle identification information, as well as your first and last name.

Law enforcement is not able to determine whether you have coverage unless you show them some sort of proof. Below are various penalties that you will face without showing proof when it is required.

Penalty for Lack of Insurance in Michigan

If you decide to drive without insurance, you are taking a huge risk. Not only will you be driving illegally, but if you are caught, you will get penalized. Various penalties include fines, suspension of license and registration, as well as additional fees to get your license reinstated. This reflects very poorly upon your personal driving record. To avoid these penalties, make sure that you always are carrying valid proof while driving.

Citations: You will be issued a citation for lack of insurance and will be expected to pay it in full. If it is not paid, you will end up in additional trouble and the amount owed will increase. Under certain circumstances, the citations will be waived if proof is eventually provided.

Suspensions: Your driver’s license will be suspended and your registration will be revoked. This means you will not be able to drive any vehicle until you have served your full suspension period. Additionally, the registration for your bike will be taken away for a period of time and you must have insurance before it is reinstated.

Reinstatement Fees: When you are ready to reinstate your license and registration, you will need to pay various reinstatement fees before you can drive again. These fees can range from $50 to $150 depending on circumstances.

Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Companies

In order to find the best possible deal on motorcycle insurance in the state of Michigan, you need to comparison shop for coverage. Comparison shopping involves looking up the best companies in your area, getting quotes, and comparing the rates and coverage that each are offering. To help make things easier for you the consumer, we have implemented a free tool that allows you to find the top providers by simply entering your Zip Code below (or at the top of the page).

Once you have entered your Zip Code, all you need to do is click “Start!” and it will show you the leading providers in your area. Your job is to get a quote from each of these companies and compare the quotes and amount of coverage you are being offered. When you finally settle on a company, make sure that the policy provides you with adequate coverage to make you feel protected on the road at a price that you can afford. Before you know it, you will be cruising through the Great Lakes State and enjoying the awesome scenery!

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