Understanding the laws relating to Michigan auto insurance can be a little complicated as so many different car insurance rates can be applied and so many discounts offered by Michigan auto insurance companies. The Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services publishes a 26 page booklet to assist citizens looking for Michigan car insurance and even that concludes that the best way to get cheap Michigan car insurance is to shop around and look for deals based on your own personal circumstances.
There are no alternatives for proving financial responsibility other than car insurance in Michigan and the penalties for not having Michigan auto insurance are strict. Nonetheless, the Insurance Research Council reports that an estimated 17 per cent of car drivers in Michigan have no form of insurance at all, despite a higher than average rate of vehicle theft and the “value” of personal injury claims increasing threefold in Michigan since the late 1990s.
Michigan Car Insurance Requirements
Michigan is a “no-fault” State, which means that if you are injured or suffer a personal loss in an accident, your insurance company in Michigan will cover medical and vehicle repair bills. However, it is also required that you carry liability insurance against injury or property damage to third parties and addition personal injury protection to replace any lost income you may experience if your injuries result in you being unable to work. Property protection is also a necessary part of car insurance in Michigan, and you must have a minimum of $1,000,000 coverage for accidents within the State and $10,000 for out of State.
Minimum liability limits for auto insurance in Michigan –
$20,000 for injury/death to one person
$40,000 for injury/death to more than one person
$10,000 for damage to property ($1 million within Michigan)
$ unlimited (see below) personal injury protection
Michigan Auto Insurance Laws
Part of the reason that insurance rates in Michigan can be so high is that Michigan is the only state that mandates unlimited medical benefits for people who are seriously injured in a traffic accident – including motorcycle injuries. Therefore, if you are sitting at a stop sign and are rear-ended by a motorcyclist, it is your insurance that pays his medical bills! Once the cost of treatment has exceeded $460,000, a Statewide insurance pool called the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association takes over payments, and this pool is contributed to by all the auto insurance companies in Michigan – raising Michigan auto insurance rates still further.
The potential expense of car insurance in Michigan, coupled with a high level of unemployment, means that many drivers allow their Michigan car insurance to lapse and drive around the State uninsured. However, penalties for being unable to prove auto insurance in Michigan range from a temporary license suspension (up to 30 days for not carrying your insurance card with you in your vehicle) to a $500.00 fine and up to a year´s jail time. You will also be required to have pre-paid non-cancelable SR-22 car insurance in Michigan before being allowed to drive again. This also applies to any DUI offence or once you have collected seven driving violation points on your license within the past three years.
Michigan Car Insurance – Traffic Violation Points
Auto insurance companies in Michigan apply “Insurance Eligibility Points” for certain traffic violations. These are not the same as points on your license, but will affect the Michigan car insurance rates you are quoted for regular auto insurance and SR-22 car insurance. You may even get turned down for Michigan auto insurance if your points tally is too high!
- Driving more than 15 mph over the speed limit (careless driving) – four points
- Driving 11-15 mph over the speed limit – three points
- Driving 15 mph or fewer over the speed limit on freeways of 70 mph – two points
- Other moving violations – two points
- The first accident in which you are more than 50% at fault – three points
- The second and all following accidents in which you are more than 50% at fault – four points
Recommended Michigan Car Insurance Coverage
With the personal injury protection element of auto insurance in Michigan rapidly becoming the poor man´s health insurance, it is vital that you have adequate car insurance in Michigan. Most insurance professionals would recommend increasing your liability coverage to at least $100,000/$200,000 and considering a higher level if it is affordable.
With the high volume of uninsured and underinsured drivers in Michigan, uninsured/underinsured car insurance is practically essential and with the high risk of being a victim of car theft (see below), comprehensive insurance is recommended unless you have a car of little value. Although the total amount of recommended Michigan auto insurance might seem as if it is going to add up to a lot of money, there are ways in which you can apply for discounts which will result in cheap Michigan car insurance quotes.
Cheap Michigan Car Insurance Quotes
Because of the many different types of car insurance needed in Michigan, and the even higher level of Michigan auto insurance which is genuinely recommended by professionals in the industry. There are a number of measures you can take to qualify for discounted Michigan car insurance. Not every auto insurance company in Michigan will offer the same discounts so, as recommended by the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services, it is better to shop around.
Having air-bags fitted to your car can attract discounts of up to 30 per cent with many auto insurance companies in Michigan, and other safety features such as anti-lock brakes (up to 10 per cent discount) and anti-theft devices (up to 25 per cent) can also save you money. If you combine multiple vehicles on the same Michigan auto insurance policy you could save up to 30 per cent, while combining your Michigan car insurance policy with other insurance policies can result in a discount of up to 49 per cent. If you have a driver who is a student away from home, have them removed from your car insurance policy and save up to 58 per cent. Or, if they are staying at home but getting good grades, they could qualify you for a car insurance discount in Michigan of up to 38 per cent!
Michigan Car Insurance Ratings
However, the biggest factor influencing your auto insurance rates in Michigan is your car insurance rating. This rating indicates to Michigan auto insurance companies the level of risk they are taking when they insure you. “Insurance Eligibility Points” for certain traffic violations has already been mentioned above, but there are many more elements which go together to create your final Michigan car insurance rating.
- Your Credit Score – Car insurance companies are allowed by law to get a credit report for anybody who applies for a car insurance quote. Research has shown that those who are responsible with their money are likely to be responsible on the road, and a good credit rating will get you a good discount on your car insurance in Michigan (and you cannot be penalized for having a bad one!).
- Your Gender and Age – In 2008, 86.5 per cent of all fatal accidents in Sterling Heights were caused by male drivers – with 40 per cent of those male drivers under the age of 34. Young drivers through the State (and particularly males) had a poor record of road safety and will find that their car insurance in Michigan is more expensive because of this.
- Make and Model of Vehicle – You may think that cars which are more powerful and more valuable would attract high rates of auto insurance in Michigan. However, if they have a good selection of safety and security devices, you may get cheaper Michigan car insurance quotes than an older, less valuable car or one which gets targeted by thieves (Dodge for example – see below).
- Use of Vehicle – People who use their vehicles infrequently or live in rural areas are less likely to be involved in accidents and make claims against their Michigan car insurance policy. Therefore they are considered to be less of a risk, and benefit from discounted Michigan auto insurance rates. The opposite applies to people who commute long distances to work in their car.
Most Stolen Vehicles in Michigan
According the FBI´s Uniform Crime Report, car theft in Michigan has declined by 58.8 per cent in the last twenty-five years. However, Michigan is still one of 10 States which have consistently accounted for 60 per cent of the nation´s motor vehicle thefts. In 2009 (the most recent report) Michigan was in fifth place in respect of the States in which your vehicle was most likely to get stolen.
Thieves often target certain vehicles, and each year the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) publishes a report nick-named “Hot Wheels” which highlights the most commonly stolen vehicles by State. The most frequently cars in Michigan in 2010 were as follow:-
- Dodge Caravan
- Dodge Intrepid
- Ford Taurus
- Dodge Stratus
- Dodge Ram
- Plymouth Voyager
- Cherokee Jeep
- Chevrolet Malibu
- Chevrolet Impala
- Pontiac Grand Prix
Where You Car May Get Stolen in Michigan
The NICB also publishes a list of the 360 metropolitan districts within the USA which suffer the highest ratio of vehicle theft in relation to the population. Detroit locals will not be surprised to see their city in a predominant position in this list, but the inclusion of so many of Michigan´s smaller cities may alarm you.
The Michigan metropolitan districts which were within the NICB´s “top” 360 locations for car theft are as follow (national position in brackets):-
- Detroit (12)
- Flint (89)
- Mishawaka (167)
- Ann Arbor (183)
- Battle Creek (201)
- Benton Harbor (229)
- Monroe (234)
- Kalamazoo (250)
- Grand Rapids (253)
- Muskegon (281)
- Saginaw (287)
- Jackson (292)
- Lansing (294)
- Bay City (338)
Typical Michigan Car Insurance Rates
One of the first things a Michigan car insurance company will want to know when you apply for auto insurance is where you live. People who live in urban areas with a high traffic density are more likely to be involved in accidents than those who live in quiet rural areas. Quotes for Michigan car insurance will reflect both the volume of daily traffic hazards you are likely to encounter and the chance of your car being stolen.
To illustrate the weighting that Michigan car insurance companies give to certain districts, the following is a list of the average car insurance premium paid in selected metropolitan districts in 2010. If you live in one of these areas, please consider that your personal circumstances and insurance rating will affect how much you pay for your car insurance in Michigan, but if you are paying moiré than the average, you might want to consider using the interactive tool at the top of the page to get some alternative quotes!
Car insurance in Ann Arbor – $1,507
Car insurance in Lansing – $1,628
Car insurance in Grand Rapids – $1,670
Car insurance in Livonia – $1,952
Car insurance in Flint – $2,100
Car insurance in Sterling Heights – $2,100
Car insurance in Warren – $2,173
Car insurance in Dearborn – $2,532
Car insurance in Detroit – $2,731
Michigan Car Insurance Companies
Despite the high cost of car insurance in Michigan and the high value of claims, there are plenty of auto insurance companies in Michigan willing to provide quotes to new customers. The table below is a comprehensive list of the car insurance companies in Michigan you can approach for an auto insurance quote, and those which we have reviewed for you are underlined in blue.
|Affirmative||Farm Bureau||Michigan Millers Mutual|
|Allied Property & Casualty||Foremost||National Interstate|
|Allstate||Frankenmuth Mutual||National Union Fire|
|American Bankers||GEICO||New Hampshire Indemnity|
|American Family Home||Grange||Northern Mutual|
|American Fellowship Mutual||Great Lakes Casualty||Pacific Indemnity|
|American International||Great Northern||Partners Mutual|
|American Modern||Harleysville||Pioneer State Mutual|
|AMICA Mutual||Hastings Mutual||Safeco|
|Auto Club Group||Home-Owners||Secura|
|Auto Club Insurance Association||Horace Mann||Standard Fire|
|Bristol West||Integon||State Farm|
|Employers Mutual||Metropolitan||West American|
|Esurance||Michigan Insurance Company||Wolverine Mutual|
We mentioned at the very beginning of the page that Michigan car insurance can be a complicated affair. Hopefully with our assistance you have been able to understand a little more about it and why Michigan car insurance is essential. If you feel you are paying too much for your car insurance in Michigan, use the interactive tool at the top of the page to get some competitive quotes, and do not forget to ask whether you qualify for any discounts. Michigan car insurance companies rarely give this information away for free!