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


30
Jan 15

Michigan Insurance Review, A New Chapter

I really wanted this site to be a niche site about Michigan car insurance. Apparently I do not have the discipline or stamina to keep it up. I write about car insurance and loans on carinsurance.about.com and they actually pay me to do it. Money is an actual motivator, who knew? I thought I should start my own site to earn a higher percentage of money, however it seems unlikely at this point. Search engine optimization, and Google, and time seem to always be working against me. And then there is my forever boring beast of a topic, “insurance”. I can’t take it anymore. I don’t want another one of my projects to fall through the cracks, so I’m changing my niche. My new niche is whatever I feel like talking about, which could get interesting, and random.

Swirling Brain Syndrome

I can’t be the only one who gets this non-stop annoying syndrome. My brain will not stop swirling. I’m pretty good at a few things and I think I could help / teach someone something. My interests and halfway “good at” life skills include:

  • Personal Finance – I’m currently 33, I paid off 55k of debt and saved 35k in the bank so I could quit my painfully boring job and stay at home. Its been two years since I quit selling personal lines insurance. I’ve promised myself at least two more years before going back to a traditional job.
  • Cooking – I have gotten ridiculously good at cooking. Nothing too fancy but so delicious that I seriously feel my family eats better than 90% of the world.
  • Fitness – I’m no body builder, but I am in pretty good shape. I workout daily and eat healthy and have been doing so for about 18 months straight. Sometimes I think I could be a personal trainer, but then I think there goes my swirling brain again.
  • Struggling Entrepreneurship – Chronic “I’m going to make a million on this idea” syndrome. I know a couple of things about this and could probably give a bit of advice on what to avoid.
  • Stay at Home Life – Mommy bloggers everywhere unite! Staying at home might be your dream job, but actually living it might not be. An insider look at the daily grind could be helpful to some.
  • Parenting – Nothing like a little personal experience to make me an expert right? I have two boys. Seriously feel like I could write a great breastfeeding article. Does that fit on a site titled Michigan Insurance Review? Guess what? I don’t care!!
  • Vacation Planning – Seriously this can be hard. I’m the head vacation planner around here and it is exhausting. Surely, I can help you with my sometimes terrible experiences.
  • Exchange Student Host – I’m hosting an exchange student right now for 10 months. I’m halfway in and I’ve got a lot I could tell about this experience.
  • Relationship Advice – Hey, I’ve been married 13 years. Maybe I could give some relationship advice.
  • Graphic Design – Yup, I went to school for that. Photoshop, Illustrator tutorials here I come.
  • Writing a Book – I’m keeping this one on the back burner for now. I have a great children’s book idea already written out and I’m trying to illustrate it. Currently, I’m having a focusing problem.
  • Focusing Problems – Maybe I could write about how I deal with those little devils.
  • Building a Website – I certainly know how to build a website. I have designed and filled about 5 sites with content. I am actually addicted to buying domain names. I like to collect them like shoes, or nick-knacks, or whatever it is people collect.
  • Car Insurance – I actually do know a few things about car insurance. I sold it for 8 years and learned a lot about the industry and people in general. I might get crazy and throw in a few more insurance related articles, but don’t expect too much from me.

Alright, I think that will be a good start. Why do I want to put an emoji after every sentence? So addicted to texting. Right now I’m getting a little over 3k people on this site a month. It’s definitely not a destination site. It’s a search and get the hell out site. Maybe with my handbook, aka my overflowing brain, of life skills I can make you want to come back for more.

Quick and Adorable Family Pic

Delbridge Family Picture

No Longer in it for the Money

Super done trying to make money on a blog. Now I’m just going to practice my writing skills and write what I like. Complain about whatever I want, whenever I want. And believe me when I tell you complaining is my #1 finely tuned skill.

Don’t Tell Anybody!

I’m not going to verbally tell a single soul about my change to the site. Nobody I know reads this site, I’m quite sure everyone I know was bored with it before I finished its description. And I’m tired, so tired of telling people I’m trying something new or different. I’m just going to keep this little change for me. I really do want to keep it educational, but I can see it turning a little bit diary-ish.

Just in Case You Really Were Looking for Car Ins. Info


20
Nov 14

Michigan Winter Car Safety Tips

Here in Michigan we know that we do many things better than other parts of the country – summers on the lake, country road motorcycle rides and of course, the great Michigan season of snow and cold. While we prepare ourselves for the upcoming change in temperatures, it is important to remember to prepare your car for the changes coming with the new season as well.

When getting your car ready for the snow and ice, be sure to follow these easy steps for safe winter driving.

Check Your Tires

This may seem like common sense, but ensuring that your tires have good tread on them should be the first thing on your list. Without good tread depth, you run the risk of your tires losing grip on the snow and ice. When in doubt, have your local mechanic check out your tires – if needed, you can transition to a good set of winter tires.

You should also check to make sure that your tires are inflated properly. Without proper inflation, your tires can cause problems such as:

  • Reducing the tread life of your tire.
  • Reduce the gas mileage of your car.
  • Reduce the stability of the car.
  • Put your tires at risk for a blow out.

Tires are like shoes for your car – the better quality and care, the longer they will last.

Test Your Battery

The battery is often overlooked as a part of the car that we just trust is in good working order. If your battery is over three years old, it is a good idea to have your battery tested. Depending on the way you drive, your battery can have a shortened life span. Things like extreme heat and cold, many short trips vs. longer road trips can all reduce the life of your battery.

Check the Fluids

Another simple yet effective quick check for your car is to check all of the fluids. Your car needs to have all of the fluids at appropriate levels to run properly, and ensuring that things like your radiator are properly leveled off is crucial to winter driving. Stocking an extra container of washer fluid in the car is also a good idea, as the special formulas of washer fluid today can greatly improve your visibility during cold, snowy days. We all know how it feels to be on the highway with our windshield wipers scraping across a windshield that does not have any more fluid in the tank. Be prepared for the snow, ice and wind.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Michigan winters require us to be prepared for whatever it may throw at us; our kind of cold needs special preparation. It is recommended that everyone prepare a winter survival kit that will have everything that you might need if you get stranded in the snow or cold.

Not every kit will be the same, but some of the things that are recommended can be:

  • Flashlight
  • Warm clothes
  • Battery Charger
  • Protein Bars and Snacks
  • Bottles Water
  • Blankets

Although not a complete list, this can give you some ideas of things that you can include in your own emergency kit.

By preparing for the winter weather, you can increase your safety while driving on the roads this season. Whether it is rain, sleet, snow or ice, preparing both your car and yourself for the winter roads can be the difference between a normal, safe long cold winter, or a winter that puts your car in the repair shop from an accident. Knowing how to get ready for the snow will increase your odds for a safe and happy winter.

Quick Links


04
Nov 14

What Happens If I Pay My Car Insurance Late?

It happens to everyone. Sometimes you just don’t have the funds you need when you need them. Other times you simply forget and the date slips by you. Whatever the reason, you may find out you paid your insurance bill late. Now is not the time to freak out depending on how late it is. If you don’t know what happens when you pay your car insurance late in Michigan then, you will find this helpful.

First, look at how late you are. Is it a day behind, a month, more or less? This is important to determine how late it will actually be. Did you already mail the check off, or did it just enter into your mind to do so? This is another determining factor in what happens.

Things You Should Expect

  • Late Fees
  • A Double Payment (the past due amount plus the current month’s payment)
  • No Reinstatement if it is a Second Offense

The unfortunate truth is that some insurance companies will temporarily suspend your insurance even if you are just a day or two late in paying. In insurance lingo, this is known as a lapse in your insurance policy. A lapse in your policy means that you are not insured and considered to be an illegal driver because of it.

Fortunately, most insurance companies are going to send you a notice that you are at risk of having your insurance policy lapse if they do not receive a payment within a certain amount of time. This could be a few hours or a few days. Your insurance company may opt for giving you a phone call in addition to written notification. If you do not contact your insurance company to work something out, or pay them, you should consider yourself as an uninsured driver. To make things even worse, some insurance companies will charge you a late fee per day until you make your insurance payment.

What Happens When it Lapses

After your insurance company lapses your insurance coverage, the last thing you want to do is be caught driving without insurance. If you get pulled over or you get in an accident, you could lose both your license and the registration of your vehicle. Then, you have to pay a reinstatement fee to get your license back and you have to pay to register your vehicle again. If you are alone in the vehicle, you could also end up having to pay an impound fee to get your vehicle back.

In some cases, you may even be facing jail time for getting in a car accident while you were unlicensed or uninsured. Whether or not this happens, depends on if you have previously driven without insurance before.

What Should You Do?

You have to keep in mind that insurance companies are not like the monster that lived under your bed when you were a child. They understand the hiccups in finances and unexpected expenses happen from time to time. In a lot of situations, an insurance company is more than willing to work out some kind of plan with you. Don’t push their willingness to help. Being late every month is not acceptable and will most likely result in your policy being cancelled.

The worst thing you can do in this situation is doing nothing. Call your insurance agent and let them know you are struggling to find the money to make your payment in time. Just tell them what’s going on and see if some kind of long term payment plan can be worked out. You can also ask if you can have a few days or an extra week to make a payment without having to worry about your insurance lapsing.

Your insurance provider has no way of knowing that you are struggling to find the money if you don’t tell them. Not telling them anything at all is when they just assume you are not going to pay them at all. Losing your status as an insured driver will make you a high risk driver. In Michigan that means when you do get your finances straightened out, you will be paying a much higher insurance rate for a full six months to get back to a preferred rate.

Quick Links

More Michigan Car Insurance Coverage

Help Shopping for Car Insurance


25
Oct 14

I Just Received a Non-Renewal Notice – What Do I Do Now?

You have just received a non-renewal notice from your Michigan car insurance provider. Chances are pretty good you have a few things going through your mind. What the heck is a non-renewal notice? How does it differ from a cancellation? What should you be doing about it?

What The Heck Is a Non-Renewal Notice

You can have slight peace of mind in knowing that a non-renewal notice is slightly less awful than receiving a cancellation notice. However, neither are ideal situations to be in.

A non-renewal notice means that your insurance provider is no longer accepting you (or another driver in some cases) on your insurance policy. This means that when your insurance policy is due to be renewed, you will need to find another insurance policy. The only reason why a non-renewal notice is slightly less awful than a cancellation notice is because you have more time to find new insurance. When you receive a cancellation notice, it means they have cancelled your insurance policy and you only have about 30 days to find another insurance home.

Causes of Non-Renewal Notices

You are probably asking yourself why your insurance provider would have sent you a non-renewal notice in the first place. There are a few different reasons why insurance companies decide they no longer wish to cover a specific driver.

  • Your Driving Record – If you have a lot of speeding tickets or you have a DUI, you should not be surprised if your insurance provider sends you a non-renewal notice. Multiple traffic citations and/or a DUI make you a high-risk driver and some insurance providers do not want the burden of having to cover you.
  • Multiple Claims – If you get in a lot of accidents (your fault or not your fault), you are going to be making a lot of claims with your insurance provider. Your insurance provider could decide they don’t want to renew your insurance policy because you are costing them too much money. Most preferred insurance providers have a rule that you should not have more than one at-fault claim a year. If you file a second (and especially the third) at-fault claim, you can expect to receive a non-renewal notice in the mail.
  • You Moved Out of the State – If you move out of state and you never inform your insurance, if they can’t find your mailing address, the policy will eventually cancel. Or, maybe you have a local insurance carrier, and they can’t cover you in your new state. You should just work on switching to a new provider as soon as you know you are moving and where you are moving.

What Can You Do About It?

Call an insurance agent as soon as possible to shed some light on what is going on. It is very possible that the insurance provider you currently have would still offer you a policy, they just may want to revisit the terms because you are now a high risk for them to insure. In the worse situation where your insurance provider no longer wants to cover you under any terms, you would need your insurance agent to help you find another provider to get coverage through.

You want to find a replacement for your insurance policy as soon as you know that your current policy is not being renewed. This is because it is illegal for you to drive around without insurance. You could face jail time and end up paying an arm and a leg in repair fees; possibly even a hefty lawsuit from a bad auto accident.

From the very moment you open that non-renewal notice, you should get on your phone and start calling providers and agents to find another form of coverage.

Further Reading

Quick Links

How to Get a Home Insurance Quote Penalties for No Car Insurance In Michigan Moving to Michigan and Car Insurance

27
Aug 14

Michigan Drinking and Driving Laws

To say that the laws regarding drinking and driving in Michigan are tough is an understatement. They are among the toughest in the nation. If you have plans to go out and have a good time and ingest alcohol, it is best to make plans to get home safely. To attempt driving home, or from place to place while intoxicated can jeopardize your freedom, income and driving privileges. This is not to mention that you are placing yourself and others at risk of a serious or deadly crash.

There are those that feel the government is too intrusive, but there are times that it needs to step in and make sure that we are making the best decisions for ourselves, as well as the public at large. It is a crime in the state of Michigan to be operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08. Having a BAC of 0.17 or higher means getting even more enhanced, or harsher penalties. The fact is you can be arrested by exhibiting any level of impairment regardless of your actual BAC.

Being under the influence of a schedule 1 narcotic such as marijuana, heroin, GHB and others draw the same fines and penalties no matter whether you appear impaired or not.

First DUI Offense

Your best chance at getting life back to normal is if this is your first offense. If you follow all of the stipulations and pay all fines you will eventually get your license back. The penalties for under 0.17 BAC can be:

  • Up to $500 dollars in fines
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 community service hours
  • Up to 6 months driver’s license suspension
  • 6 points off your driver’s license

Over 0.17 BAC:

  • Up to $700 dollars in fines
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 360 community service hours
  • Up to 1 year of driver’s license suspension
  • 6 point off the driver’s license

You will also be expected to complete an alcohol treatment program and use an interlock system for your ignition after 45 days of license suspension. This will allow you the use of a restricted driver’s license. You are responsible for the costs of this equipment.

Refusing to take the breath test doesn’t make things any easier for you. A first refusal earns you an automatic 1 year driver’s license suspension. A second refusal in 7 years earns you a 2 year driver’s license suspension. A drunken driving conviction can also cost you up to $2,000 dollars in additional penalties. You can incur $1,000 dollar costs each year for two years to be paid under the Driver Responsibility Act. It can be a very costly conviction.

The Better Choice

All of these laws and consequences are not designed to keep you from having fun, but to help you make better choices when it comes to drinking and driving. You simply shouldn’t get behind the wheel if you have ingested any amount of alcoholic beverages. Keep your partying at one location, or designate a non-drinker to be the one to transport everyone safely.

Call a taxi for a ride home or make plans to stay overnight at the location of the party. You should do the same if you are hosting a party. Do not let anyone leave with the intent of driving home if they have been drinking. You could very well be saving the lives of your friends and others. You most certainly are saving them a possible driving while intoxicated charge.

Laws and regulations change periodically. We do our best to provide the most up to date information.

Quick Links

How to Get a Home Insurance Quote MI Helmet Laws Moving to Michigan and Car Insurance

26
Aug 14

7 Tips for Getting Car Insurance after a DUI

Just the sheer humiliation of getting a DUI conviction may seem like the worst thing, but it is far from over at that point. The cost of time and money in paying fines, doing community service and the suspension of your driving privileges can pale in comparison to both finding and being able to afford car insurance again. It can haunt you for up to three years after a conviction.

There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for the journey and make getting car insurance after a DUI possible.

  1. Understand there is no overnight cure. It may be a struggle to complete all of the demands of the court and locate a car insurance company that is willing to insure you after the conviction. There will be many companies that will not cover you for at least 3 years with a clean record.
  2. Understand that the process will be expensive. High risk insurance is not cheap, no matter who you can find coverage from. The combination of insurance costs, mandatory alcohol treatment and fines can be quite costly.
  3. Fight the DUI charge. You need to get a good lawyer involved quickly, especially if there is a chance that you can get the charges dropped or reduced. The faster you can do this the chances are great that your insurance company will never even know about it. If the charges are simply reduced, it will most likely show up on your record. It is best to be honest about it unless the charges are quickly dropped.
  4. Get coverage with a nationally recognized carrier if possible. The coverage will generally be better and the rates will at least be competitive. You will be looking at a high price tag no matter who you go with, but at least you can be sure the coverage will be good.
  5. Follow through with all of the court obligations. Do not miss hearings, complete all community service and pay all fines. If you are seen as cooperative it makes it easier to get car insurance after a DUI.
  6. Know your SR-22 and make sure it fits the requirements of liability for your state. Make sure that the paperwork is done correctly and that it is accepted by your state agency. You normally have about 6 months to get this done, but that really depends on how restricted your driving is made and when you can get your privileges back.
  7. Do comparison shopping. It is not always about who is the least expensive. You want to make sure that the company will help you with the paperwork for the SR-22 and that they will do it timely. You want the best coverage, the most help and the best price in that order. It will be indicative of whether you want to stick with them once your DUI can be taken off the table and you can have normal car insurance once again.

Getting Out from Under

It may seem like a lot of work and expense to regain your driving privileges and get insurance coverage again. But if you steer clear of any more DUI’s, keep up your premium payments faithfully and follow through with your court commitments, you will be back to a sense of normalcy before you know it.

It is not a pleasant lesson to learn, but it is designed to make people feel enough financial impact and bother that the idea of drinking and driving will never cross your mind again. Just don’t do it!

Quick Links


29
Jul 14

Will a Seat Belt Ticket Make My Insurance Go Up in Michigan?

You are driving down the road minding your own business when you see flashing lights pull up right behind you. You get over thinking the police officer will surely go past you to pull over another law breaking person when you realize he is dead set on that person being you. You pull over and whirling through your mind is did I renew my plate, I wasn’t speeding was I, what did I do? Then you find out you were pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. Is this legal in Michigan?

Yes it is! Nowadays most states have a seat belt law. Michigan has a primary seat belt law which makes it so you can be pulled over solely for not buckling up. Prepare for a $65 fine and if you wait more than 21 days to pay, it jumps up to $105.

Impact on Car Insurance

Now that you have the ticket figured out, will your car insurance be affected? You might be surprised and probably relieved to find out a seat belt ticket will not increase your car insurance rate.

Don’t forget about the kids!

Make sure you are up to date on Michigan’s car seat laws. The seat belt laws apply to everyone in the car. A ticket can be issued for passengers the same as drivers.

Pay your ticket as soon as possible so you don’t forget. If you’re having trouble coming up with the $65, you’re really going to find it hard to pay $105.

Further Reading


06
Apr 14

Spring 2014 Michigan Classic Car Shows

Are you a classic car enthusiast? Do you own one? Car shows are the only place many classic car drivers can drive and be covered under their classic car insurance. If that is the case, you will want to be sure to hit up as many car shows as you can so you can take your baby out for a drive. Let me help you plan your spring car show line up. Get your car ready, get your insurance ready, and get your calendar ready for these upcoming shows.
Spring 2014 MI Classic Car Shows
Auto Swap & Classic Car Show
April 13, 2014
Monroe County Fairgrounds

YASR 35th Annual Show ‘N Shine Car show
May 3, 2014 – May 4, 2014
Ypsilanti, MI

McFadden Friendly Motors 9th Annual Classic and Muscle Car Show Cruise-in
South Haven, MI
May 7, 2014

Spring Fling & Car Corral
Dearborn, MI
May 10, 2014

15th Annual Spring Auto Thing
Clinton Twp., MI
May 17, 2014

Michigan Vintage Volkswagen Car Show
Ypsilanti, MI
May 18, 2014

Car & Motorcycle Show
May 18, 2014

13th Annual Corvette Car Show
usually early June, 2014 TBA
Applegate Chevrolet

Cruise & Car Show
usually early June, 2014 TBA
Downtown Mount Clemens

Widetrackers Spring Car Show
June 14, 2014
Springfield Oaks County Park

Quick Links

Identity Theft MI Pothole Claims Car Seat Laws

05
Apr 14

Can I Add a Motorcycle to My Car Insurance Policy?

In Michigan, a motorcycle insurance policy and a car insurance policy are kept separate. It comes down to a difference in medical coverage. Motorcycles are excluded in Michigan’s no fault coverage, meaning they are not eligible for unlimited medical coverage when filing a claim against their own policy. Motorcyclist have the option of purchasing medical pay and medical benefits in increments of $5000.

Motorcycle Policy Features
Add Motorcycle to Car Insurance

  • Renews Annually
  • Liability
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Roadside Assistance
  • MCCA Fee is Required

Why do I have to pay the MCCA Fee to insure a motorcycle in Michigan?

Even though motorcycles are not eligible for unlimited medical coverage under their own insurance policy, they are eligible if a car is involved. How is that possible? Well, when a motorcycle is in a collision with an automobile in Michigan, that automobile insurance policy must pay unlimited medical expenses on the motorcyclist and passengers. And it does not matter if it was the motorcyclist’s fault, the auto involved is the policy which pays.

Example 1: You are on your motorcycle. A deer jumps out from the grass and you lay your bike down going 50 mph. Along with major road rash you break your collar bone, several ribs, and fracture your hand. Several surgeries are required in order to get you back to normal. Your medical pay or medical benefits coverage from your motorcycle insurance policy will kick in to cover the costs up to your listed limit. Your primary health insurance through your employer could possibly pick up any slack.

Example 2: Your car is legally parked on the side of the road. A motorcyclist not wearing a helmet is speeding and hits an unexpected pothole. He crashes into your parked car and damages his spine. Your car insurance policy will cover the medical expenses with no cap on the coverage.

Ways To Save

Even though you cannot add a motorcycle to your car insurance policy, you can still benefit from insuring your motorcycle and car with the same insurance company. Usually the motorcycle policy will be eligible for a multi-policy discount when you also insure your car. You could also combine billing if you go through the same carrier. Combining bills often reduces billing fees, saving you both time and money.

What about other states?

Other states do not have Michigan’s complicated no-fault laws which make unlimited medical coverage mandatory for all autos on the road. Therefore in some other states adding a motorcycle to an auto policy is completely acceptable and often the cheapest route to insure your bike. When adding a motorcycle to a car insurance policy, the motorcycle takes on the same liability coverage as the autos listed. If that is not what you want, you will need to look for a separate motorcycle policy.

Quick Links

How to Get a Home Insurance Quote MI Helmet Laws Moving to Michigan and Car Insurance

19
Mar 14

Do I Need to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Michigan?

I find this question kind of funny. Mostly because I think everyone who rides a motorcycle needs to wear a helmet. I have heard of too many preventable injuries caused by going helmet-less. However, the question is really directed more towards Michigan’s motorcycle helmet laws.

Does Michigan law require a helmet to be worn?

In 2012 Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law changed. Helmets are no longer required in order to ride legally. Other stipulations have been put in place for those of you who choose not to wear a helmet.

Michigan Motorcycle Helmet Laws

  • You must be 21 years of age or older
  • You must have at least 2 years of riding experience or have completed a safety course
  • You must have $20,000 medical benefits listed on a motorcycle insurance policy

As mentioned earlier, the change to the law came in early 2012. It just so happens motorcycle deaths increased 18% in 2012 too. An official report has not come out linking the two, but it clearly has potential to be linked.

So, if you have control over all the other drivers on the road and are looking to be legal when riding your bike in MI the answer is no, you do not need to wear a motorcycle helmet. If you have loved ones and a strong desire to live, then the answer is yes, you need to wear a helmet.

Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think about Michigan’s Helmet Law.