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      Upper Peninsula dodges motorcycle trend

      Are higher medical claims the price being paid for not wearing motorcycle helmets? An insurance industry study says it is.

      To wear or not to wear...a choice granted to Michiganâ??s motorcyclists by state legislators last year. A study from the Highway Loss Data Institute claims that freedom comes with a price. Two years prior to the change, the average insurance payment for a motorcycle injury was $5,410. Since the law came into effect, it increased 34 percent to $7,257, according to the institute.

      "Losses of the few kind of pay for the many," says Scott Reddinger, a personalized account manager for VAST. "If claims continue to increase the way the report is showing, then that does end up affecting all auto ownersâ?? premiums."

      So far Upper Michiganâ??s costs remain stable.

      "I think that's due to a few factors; one being that we have a shortened season for motorcycles. Also, it's only been a year since we've had this law in effect so we haven't really seen a large increase in claims," Reddinger says.

      To ride without a helmet in Michigan, you must be 21 or over, have two years riding experience, and motorcycle medical insurance. Bald Eagle Harley-Davidson in Marquette says since the law change, helmet sales have increased.