Car, Home, Toys, and Life Insurance Resource Center

Welcome to the best Michigan insurance resource! Michigan has the most unique insurance laws in the United States. Learn about what it takes to be insured properly as a Michigander. Get saving tips, mandatory coverage amounts, and answers to many frequently asked questions.

Insurance Where You Live

May 14

Is Michigan’s State Minimum Coverage Right for Me?

Selecting the right car insurance coverage is important. Using Michigan’s state minimum coverage as the base of your car insurance policy is not the best idea. Michigan’s minimum required coverage is 20,000 bodily injury coverage per person, 40,000 per accident, and 10,000 property damage. If the state says this is all you need to drive legally, why should you purchase higher limits of coverage?

#1 Reason for Selecting Higher Limits of Liability

Not all states have the same car insurance laws as Michigan, actually none of them do. Most people in other states have never heard of standard collision or broad collision. In most states, property damage coverage pays for damages to other people’s vehicles when you are the at-fault driver. When you are in an accident outside of the state of Michigan, that states insurance laws apply.

So imagine you get distracted and cause a serious accident while driving on a long trip outside the state of Michigan. Say you total out a new Ford Focus. Now your car insurance policy is responsible for paying for the total loss of the Ford Focus. Do you think $10,000 will be enough to cover the damages? Probably not. You could be held personally responsible for damages above your listed limits.

#2 Reason for Selecting Higher Limits of Liability

Insurance carriers reward Michigan drivers for carrying higher limits of liability. The most savings is offered to those individuals carrying 100,000/300,000/100,000. What exactly does this mean and why would you be rewarded for carrying higher limits?

$100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person, $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $100,000 property damage all of which covers the other people in an accident in which you were at-fault. Selecting higher limits of coverage shows you are making a responsible choice in your own protection. 100/300/100 are preferred limits. By carrying the preferred limits, you are a better risk for insurance carriers because you have begun by taking responsibility. In return for making responsible choices, you are rewarded with a discount when you have prior limits of 100/300/100. The discount is offered by most carriers and can be a hefty savings.

#3 Reason for Selecting Higher Limits of Liability

For the liability of course. This is number three because hopefully you will not need to use liability coverage in the state of Michigan. Liability is only paid out for pain and suffering usually caused by complete negligence. With Michigan’s unlimited medical coverage, liability payouts are greatly reduced when compared to other states. Often drinking and driving or falling asleep at the wheel are cause for liability payout. It is comes into play more frequently outside the state boundaries of Michigan.

Higher limits give you a much better chance of having enough coverage to cover the loss of an accident. Heaven forbid you need to use your liability coverage, but if you did, it would be wise to carry 100/300/100 to ensure you have limits high enough to cover the loss. Any loss over your limits could be held against you personally.

The bottom line is that the minimum coverage really is not enough coverage. Even the insurance carriers want to promote higher limits of liability. Select 100/300/100 in order to save money and fully protect yourself.

Suggested Reading

May 14

What is Broad Collision?

Broad collision is the best collision coverage offered in the state of Michigan. Broad collision is physical damage coverage for your vehicle. It provides coverage both for when you are at-fault and not at-fault in an accident.

How does it work?

Broad collision covers collisions with other vehicles and inanimate objects including pot holes. You cannot go after another person’s car insurance policy for the full damages to your vehicle when you are not at-fault in Michigan. Broad collision provides the protection you need. Fault only has a baring on whether or not you pay a deductible.

  • At-Fault Accident = Deductible
  • Not At-Fault Accident = No Deductible

Some insurance carriers may provide a zero deductible even when you are at-fault, but you will be paying a much higher rate for the coverage. Deductibles lower your cost of insurance because you are taking on some of the risk. The higher deductible you select the lower your overall cost of insurance.

Why is broad collision the best?

A great example of what makes broad collision the best is that if you are hit in a parking lot and do not know who caused the damage, you are covered with broad collision. Plus, since the damage was not your fault, your vehicle will be repaired with no deductible. Anytime someone else causes damage to your vehicle your broad collision coverage will cover the repairs at no cost to you.

Who should purchase broad collision?

Because broad collision provides the best protection, it also costs the most. Broad collision is the best option for many drivers. Consider purchasing broad collision if you have a loan on your vehicle, are worried about all the distracted drivers on the road, and or your vehicle still holds quite a bit of value higher than $6000. Broad collision is also a good option if it is difficult for you to save up an emergency fund to cover a deductible. It can be extremely frustrating to have to pay a deductible or worse all the repair costs when someone else caused the damages.

Mar 14

Is My Child Covered Under My Auto Insurance?

Children are great, but with all the joy they bring comes a large, heaping helping of worry. Big worries, small worries. Most work themselves out with a little bit of knowledge and effort. But one thing is certain: they just keep coming. One small worry that you are bound to run into when your child reaches driving age is the matter of auto insurance coverage. Suddenly, the questions start rolling around in your brain. Is my child automatically covered as a driver under my insurance? If not, when should I add him or her to the policy? What happens if he or she gets into an accident in the meantime?

Kids on Car InsuranceStarting to worry? Well, don’t because this is where a bit of knowledge comes in to save the day. One caveat before we get started, though. As with everything involving auto insurance (and children), things can get a little complicated. The information provided here is general in nature and it is important that you check both your state’s regulations and the specific language of your policy for any variations.

Learning to drive.

In most cases, a child with a learning permit does not have to be added to your policy. They will be automatically covered during the learner’s permit period. But you should always contact your insurer once the learner’s permit has been issued. There are several reasons for this. First, a few insurance carriers do require that you add your learning driver to your policy. Second, you need to know what specific rules must be followed by your teen while driving with a learner’s permit, such as whether or not a parent must be in the car at all times, or whether there are time-of-day restrictions. If your child is in an accident while driving under a learner’s permit, and the specific rules of your jurisdiction or policy were not being followed, you may have a big problem.

Getting that license.

Once your child has passed the driver’s exam and road test, and has that coveted full license in hand, you are going to have to bite the bullet and add them to your policy. This will, of course, mean an increase in your premium. But if your child is living under your roof and you intend the let them drive your car, you have no choice. There is one alternative, actually, and that is to have your child obtain their own separate policy. This will most likely require that he or she (or you) purchase their own vehicle, though, and the total cost of both policies will probably be higher than if you simply add them to your current one. One other thing. If your child heads off to college, you should be able to keep them on your policy as long as your home remains their permanent address.

You are bound to experience a little “sticker shock” when you find out how much more you will be paying on your premium by adding your child. You may even feel the urge to simply not tell your insurance company. Fight that urge. If your child has an accident and your insurer discovers you’ve been holding out, your damage claim will likely be rejected and your policy cancelled.

Out of the nest. Completely.

Once your son or daughter is done with college and has moved into their own place, it’s time to take them off of your auto insurance. More specifically, if they can no longer legitimately claim your home as their permanent address, they should no longer be named on your policy. Don’t fret, however. You may be sad to see them fly the nest, but you can console yourself with the money you’ll be saving on your monthly premium. And your child will still be covered under the “permissive use” clause of your policy when they come over to visit and borrow your car for a quick trip to the market.

Don’t forget that laws and policies vary, so if you have any questions about who are what is covered under your policy, contact your agent right away. This is one of those times you should let your insurance agent guide you to do what is best to protect both your family and your finances.

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Feb 14

Moving to Michigan Car Insurance 101

Michigan is a state that has a lot to offer. Whether you are moving to Michigan for a new job, to be closer to family, or to enjoy its outdoor recreation, it is very important to understand its car insurance laws. The biggest surprise you are in for when moving to the state is the cost of car insurance. When compared to other states in the US, you could possibly be looking at double the cost for the same liability coverage and physical damage coverage. The difference lies within the medical coverage.

Moving to MichiganMichigan is the only state to make unlimited medical coverage mandatory for all insured drivers and passengers. The coverage is usually itemized on Michigan policies as the MCCA Fee. It is an abbreviation for Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association. The cost of the MCCA Fee is often changing, but for now it is $186 per vehicle per year.

Learn more about the MCCA Fee:

Once you get past the high cost of Michigan’s medical coverage, you will also need to get used to its other no-fault laws. In Michigan, the no-fault laws extend to the physical damage of the vehicle. Meaning your policy covers you regardless of who is at-fault. There is no going after the at-fault driver for full compensation. In this state, the most you can get from an at-fault driver’s insurance policy is $1000, which we call a mini tort claim.

Find out more about mini tort claims and not-at-fault accidents:

So, let me explain a little bit more about how your policy will cover you in a collision. Michigan offers three types of collision coverage. Broad collision is the best and will cover your vehicle without a deductible as long as the accident is not your fault. A deductible will apply to an at-fault accident. Standard collision requires a deductible regardless of who is at-fault (read more about mini torts). And limited collision only provides coverage if you are not-at-fault, but no deductible is required.

More on collision coverage:

Don’t let the cost of Michigan car insurance get you down. Just think, if you ever are in a serious car accident, this is the best state to be in for help with medical expenses. Being able to rely on your own insurance company for repairs after a collision can also be a perk. This way you rarely have to deal with another person’s insurance company. You can choose the company that has the best claims service and know what to expect after a loss.

Help saving money on car insurance:

Dec 13

The 10 Commandments of Car Insurance

Follow the 10 commandments of car insurance in order to save money and obtain the best coverage.

  1. Be Honest: Honesty is the best policy when it comes to car insurance. Trying to save money by omitting information or twisting the details of an accident when filing a claim is considered insurance fraud. Being dishonest could result in your insurance claim being denied, or you could even face prosecution.
  2. Know and Understand the Coverage: You cannot properly purchase and use a car insurance policy you do not understand. Do a little research before selecting the coverage for your vehicle. Lots of different coverage is available. Learn what each coverage protects against.
  3. Determine the Right Deductible: Deductibles can be tricky. You want to select a deductible which is low enough to be affordable at the time of a claim, but high enough to reduce the overall cost of insurance. Keep your emergency fund in mind when selecting your deductible. It can be very frustrating to sustain damage to your vehicle and not be able to get it repaired because you cannot afford your deductible. Deductibles are on the rise for many drivers to make car insurance a little more affordable.
  4. Purchase Only the Coverage You Need: Do not over insure your car. Know your car’s value by checking Kelly Blue Book. The cost of comprehensive and collision should not be a major portion of the value of your vehicle. Remember you have a deductible too. Give some consideration to extra insurance coverage like roadside assistance and car rental. Try to determine if the cost is worth the risk. Look for alternatives like borrowing a friend’s car.
  5. Check Your Discounts: It never hurts to double check your discounts. It is possible to qualify for new discounts during your policy period. For instance, if you purchase a home and insure it through your car insurance carrier your car insurance and home insurance are most likely eligible for a multi-policy discount. Discounts can be added at anytime.
  6. Maintain a Good Credit Score: A good credit score is becoming more and more important in the insurance world. The difference in premium can be shocking when comparing the insurance rate of a person with bad credit verse one with bad credit. Insurance carriers have statistical data which shows people with bad credit are more likely to file a claim. Whether you agree or not, as of right now credit is a car insurance factor in most states. As your credit improves, your car insurance rate should improve. Changes will only be reflected when your insurance policy renews.
  7. Know Your Agent: Getting to know your insurance agent can prove to be very beneficial. The better your insurance agent knows you and your family’s needs, the better he or she will be able to guide you to the best insurance policy. Your insurance agent will be more likely to work harder for you if he or she knows your story.
  8. Pay On Time: Expect to pay late fees anytime you pay your car insurance late. Some insurance carriers offer one to three days as a grace period with no fee, but anything beyond that and the fee could range from $5 to $15. For many people, it is very difficult to catch up once a late payment is made. Paying the late fee month after month gets very expensive. Paying on time could save you over one hundred dollars a year in fees.
  9. Never Let Your Policy Lapse: A lapse in car insurance can be very expensive. Get into a car accident while your policy is lapsed and you could be looking at serious financial consequences. If you are at fault you could be held liable, and if you are not at fault you could still be facing some serious fines for driving without insurance. Beyond liability and fines you will also pay more for insurance when you go to purchase it again. If at all possible, never let your car insurance policy lapse.
  10. Review Your Policy: It can definitely help to give your car insurance policy a once over. Maybe you need to refresh your memory as to what coverage you have selected. Maybe you want to see what discounts are on your policy. Maybe you are curious when your speeding ticket falls off. All of these issues can be settled by reviewing your policy. Taking a quick look could save you money and possibly confusion at the time of a claim.

    1. Tips for Saving on Car Insurance

      Further Reading

Dec 13

Can Car Insurance be a Christmas Present?

Giving the gift of car insurance might be considered lame to most teen drivers, but it can also be a good reminder about the high cost of insurance. Growing into adulthood and learning about driving expenses such as car insurance and car maintenance can be a tough lesson to learn. Sometimes the best gift you can give your teen is a life lesson.

If you pay for your teen’s car insurance normally…

Paying for your teen’s car insurance on a normal basis is not a bad thing as long as you can afford it. An efficient way to make certain your teen is covered properly is to setup and pay the policy yourself. However, it is also important to teach your young driver about how insurance works and the cost of insurance. Use the holiday to give your new driver a reminder of how much you are actually paying. Wrap up your insurance declaration page which shows your teen’s vehicle and highlight their coverage and premium amount.

If your teen pays their car insurance on their own…

A great way to teach a young driver about car insurance is to have them purchase and pay for it on their own. Covering the cost for a month or a full six months is a great Christmas gift to give. It will open up your teen’s hard earned money to hopefully be spent on other responsible purchases. Go to your teen’s insurance agent and request to make their payment. Give your young driver the receipt and see their delight.

Keep up the good work preparing young drivers about car insurance. It is a very important and it is not taught in school. It is better to learn early on, rather than to be shocked down the road.

Have you ever considered giving car insurance as a gift?

Further Reading

Dec 13

Insuring a Salvage Title Vehicle in Michigan

Insuring a salvage title vehicle in Michigan can get complicated. Insurance carriers have a lot to consider when choosing to provide coverage on salvaged vehicles. In order for a vehicle in Michigan to be considered salvaged, the damage must be between 75% and 91%. Getting liability coverage only is not very difficult because in the state of Michigan, an inspection is required in order to get a license plate.

So when does it get complicated?

Insurance companies really do not like to insure salvage title vehicles with comprehensive and collision coverage. Insuring a salvage title vehicle with physical damage can lead to problems later down the line. For instance, even with all the inspections, prior damage can be discovered after a salvaged vehicle is in another accident. And it may be hard to tell what is prior damage and what is current damage. Getting to the point, an insurance company does not want to be responsible for prior damage it any vehicle.

How to get physical damage coverage on a salvage title.

First you must find an insurance company willing to insure a vehicle with a salvage title. Many carriers will provide coverage once their conditions are met. Ask your insurance agent what conditions you need to meet in order to get coverage.

Typical Insurance Requirements

  • Detailed inspection from a mechanic
  • Visual inspection by an insurance agent
  • Multiple photos of vehicle

Be careful purchasing a salvage title vehicle. Make sure the vehicle is structurally sound and no damage has occurred to the frame. Most importantly you want to be safe. Purchasing a vehicle with a salvage title may seem like a good way to save some cash, but if you struggle to get insurance it may not be worth the hassle. Check with your insurance carrier before purchasing a salvage title vehicle.

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Help with Michigan Claims

Sep 13

Why is the MCCA Fee So Expensive?

The MCCA Fee, Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, is a major expense when it comes to Michigan car insurance. Currently, the MCCA Fee runs $150 per year per insured vehicle. It is a huge annual expense for Michigan residents especially when multiple vehicles are being insured. So what makes the MCCA fee so expensive?

When injury occurs in a Michigan automobile and the cost exceeds $530,000 the MCCA fee kicks in to cover additional costs with no limit. This includes residential and attendant care. If a young person has spinal cord or brain injury, their medical expenses and care will be covered for the remainder of their life. Since 1979 more than 32,600 claims have been filed. In 2012 alone nearly a billion dollars was paid out.

Just over 30,000 claims may not seem like so many over the course of 30 years, but with an unlimited price tag the cost is huge. The cost to Michigan insured drivers will continue to go up as long as there is no cap on pay out. More people will be injured every year and the claims from the past continue to be paid out.

The way I like to look at it is we pay the most, but if you are ever injured, Michigan is the state to be in. Your medical financial expenses will be covered for a lifetime in severe cases. I suppose I’d rather be the one to contribute to the fund without ever using it, verses actually filing a claim. What do you think about Michigan’s unlimited medical fund?

Sep 13

Do I Need Car Insurance to Buy a Car?

Generally speaking, you should have car insurance in place before you actually buy a car. As it is with almost all insurance matters there are some exceptions. Understanding the rules when it comes to making a new car purchase will ensure you do not break any laws. Take a look at some circumstances when you do and do not need to have car insurance in place to buy a car.

When Do I Need Car Insurance

  • Buying a Car from a Dealer

    Buying a car from a dealer is the number one time when you will need car insurance to buy a car. Most car dealers will not allow you to drive off the lot without a copy of your proof of insurance. Many car salesmen will actually call your insurance company and add the vehicle to your policy on your behalf. It can be helpful, but you ought to verify the coverage is listed the way you want it and any other changes are made properly. If you pay cash, the dealer may not verify your insurance, but it is certainly still a good idea.

  • Buying a Car from an Individual

    Buying a car from an individual means you are on your own. It is your responsibility to get the vehicle insured as soon as possible.

  • When is it ok to delay insuring a newly purchased vehicle?

    • Antique / Not Driveable
    • Your current insurance policy offers automatic 30 days of coverage for newly purchased vehicles

    An antique or a vehicle which cannot be driven does not need to be insured if towed and stored in a garage. Of course that means you will not have any coverage if any damage occurs to the vehicle while towed or stored. Homeowner’s insurance policies never cover automobiles in Michigan.

    Most preferred insurance carriers offer 30 days of automatic coverage for a newly purchased vehicle. The coverage extended is that of which vehicle has the most coverage currently on your policy. Meaning if you only have liability coverage on your current policy, that is all that will be extended to your new purchase. Plus, you could still have a difficult time filing a claim on a vehicle which has not yet been added to your policy. Proof of purchase will need to be supplied and delays are possible. It is definitely recommended to ask your insurance agent about any kind of automatic coverage. Never assume anything when it comes to car insurance.

    To legally drive in Michigan, the state minimum coverage is required on all vehicles. To get a vehicle titled proof of insurance is required. Get the vehicle identification number of the vehicle you are purchasing and call your insurance agent. Let them know you are in the process of purchasing the vehicle. If the deal falls through, notify your agent and the vehicle can be removed as if it never happened. Add car insurance when buying a car as soon as possible to ensure you are protected in case of a loss.

    Learn More About Michigan Car Insurance Coverage

    Help Shopping for Car Insurance

Aug 13

What if I Do Not Have Collision Coverage in Michigan?

Going without collision coverage in Michigan can be risky business. Michigan no-fault laws make it so your own policy covers you. Meaning you cannot get full reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s policy in a collision. Michigan does however have what is called a limited property damage or mini tort claim.

Technically the coverage on your car insurance policy is called limited property damage. And to access someone’s limited property damage coverage you would file what is called a mini tort claim. Recently Michigan lawmakers increased the limited property damage coverage up to $1000.

Example: James was rear-ended at a stop sign. He does not have collision coverage on his auto insurance policy. His policy will not provide coverage to repair his vehicle. James does however know who rear-ended him and a police report was filed. James can now file a mini tort claim against the at-fault vehicle’s auto policy. Since James’ damage exceeds $1000 he is eligible to receive $1000 from the at-fault vehicle’s limited property damage coverage.

James is lucky. He would be out of luck had his accident been a hit and run. He would not be able to collect from his own policy and without knowing who hit him, he would not be able to file a mini tort claim. This is the biggest pit fall when it comes to going without collision coverage in Michigan. You could be left empty handed or short changed when another driver causes you to be in a collision.

What you need to file a mini tort claim in Michigan:

  • Contact info of the at-fault party and their auto insurance company. Sometimes this is provided on the police report.
  • A police report/and or the at-fault party admitting fault
  • An estimate from a body shop showing the cost of repairs
  • A copy of your declaration page showing you do not have collision or have standard collision with a deductible

Coordinate with the at-fault vehicle’s insurance company to make sure the claim is filed and the documentation is received. If you need help, ask your insurance agent. You do not need a lawyer to file a mini tort claim. It should be a fairly simple process so long as you have the proper paperwork.

Check out the different types of collision coverage in Michigan to make sure you select the right coverage for you and your family.

Further Reading

  • How to Compare Insurance Quotes
  • Online Car Insurance Tips
  • The Ultimate Guide to Cheap Car Insurance