Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Car Accidents?

Written by Steven Matz on . Posted in .

A question that comes up fairly often is whether a person hurt in a Michigan motor vehicle accident can use their homeowner’s insurance to pay for the medical bills they are receiving for accident-related injuries or to get them a settlement for pain and suffering.

Can Homeowners Insurance Cover a Car Accident?

While it’s a good thought, the fact is that homeowners insurance in Michigan almost always excludes motor vehicle accidents from coverage of those sorts of items. That’s one reason why homeowners insurance is usually quite a bit less expensive than auto insurance—homeowners coverage only applies to specific types of loss, usually on the insured property only, and excludes everything else.  If you look at your homeowners policy, you are likely to find language that excludes anything to do with an automobile or other motor vehicle.  That’s why you are required by Michigan law to insure your auto, truck or motorcycle before you go out on the road.

Some homeowners policies will provide limited coverage for damage to property (not the people themselves) in your vehicle. If items damaged in a collision, your laptop or baby car seat, for example, are not covered by your car insurance (the policy will tell you what is covered and what is not), a careful reading of your homeowners policy may reveal that the homeowners coverage offers some help (deductible may apply).

You May Be Entitled To No-Fault Benefits

Please remember that as long as you have “PL/PD” coverage on your auto, truck, or motorcycle, you are entitled to a variety of benefits under the Michigan No-Fault Law, depending upon your injuries, and who was at fault, in an accident involving another motor vehicle.  But you can’t use homeowners insurance as a substitute for mandatory no-fault coverage on your vehicle.

Now, the situation may be different if you are injured by certain kinds of vehicles, like ORVs or motorboats. In those cases, the owner of the boat or ORV may have a “rider” (extra coverage on their policy) to cover accidents that involve injuries caused by the ORV, jet ski, snowmobile, dirt bike, dune buggy, motorboat or other motorized device that is not allowed to be driven on public roads. The owner of property where such accidents happen may also have coverage.  If you or a family member is injured in an accident involving a motorized device that is not “street legal,” you may be entitled to benefits from homeowners insurance, so this is a situation you should have analyzed by attorneys who handle injury cases involving ORVs, jet skis, motorboats, snowmobiles, or dirt bikes. Most car accident lawyers can do this kind of review very efficiently.

You should also know that if you are hit BY a car or truck while you are on an off-road device, there may be significant no-fault damages that are available to you even if you have no insurance on the off-road device you are riding, and even if you don’t own and automobile yourself.  You should expect that any attorney whom you would want to hire to handle your injury case would first offer to discuss your rights with you over the phone, without charge for talking to you.

Conclusion

There are many excellent automobile injury law firms in Michigan. Matz Injury Law is one of them. You can call us at 1-866-22Not33 or email us through our contact page to go over any of the information in this article, or to ask any questions you may have about your rights following a car or other vehicle accident. There is no charge to talk to us.  Like most firms, we guarantee that if you hire us, we won’t charge you a fee if we don’t get money for you. But what sets us apart, in our opinion, is that if we DO get money for you, we don’t charge the full 33 1/3% that many firms ask for, but only 22% of your net recovery.  That can be a savings to you of many thousands of dollars, and it would be a privilege to talk to you more about how our decades of experience and success across the state might benefit you.

Written By Steven Matz

Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury. Mr. Matz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with high distinction and highest honors in 1974 from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor degree in 1977 from The George Washington University National Law Center. Mr. Matz lectures and publishes in a number of areas, including ethics, marketing, trial tactics, and head injury. Mr. Matz has served on the Michigan Association for Justice Executive Board and currently serves the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board as a Hearing Panel Chairman and Master. He is also a member of the State Bar Committee for Character and Fitness.
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The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 33 1/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.

What does 22not33 mean, exactly?

We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 33 1/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients. 

We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients.  We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims.  Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.

All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.

At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.

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