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


02
Oct 14

How to Get Your Car Insurance Ready for Winter in Michigan

Don’t let the snow sneak up on you – get both you and your car ready for another Michigan winter with these easy tips to maintain all around coverage for the long months ahead.

Is Your Car Hibernating this year?

If you plan to park your car for the winter and not drive it, you can certainly change over your insurance and remove your collision coverage. If your car is truly not going anywhere, then you can set up your policy to maintain just comprehensive coverage. It is important to talk with your agent on the specific guidelines for removing levels of coverage from your car. Plan ahead and start this process early.

The Best Car Insurance for WinterBy changing this coverage, you can save yourself some money on your policy during the months that your car isn’t on the road. However, make sure that you plan to truly keep that car tucked away safe for the winter. If you drive that car out for any reason without upgrading the policy, you can put yourself at significant risk if you have an accident.

Changing or reducing coverage is a much smarter move than allowing the policy to lapse. A lapse in coverage can cause damage to your rates over time, which can reduce the chances of benefits and bonuses offered for customers with consistent insurance coverage. Don’t allow yourself to fall into that trap, make sure you plan for the seasonal changes.

A Car Braving the Winter Needs Special Attention

Just like you, your car needs to be prepared for the winter weather. A lot of the time that starts with having the right coverage on your car insurance policy. Remember even if you are the best winter driver of all time, you cannot assume the other drivers on the road are too. Protecting yourself with insurance is a good way to avoid winter weather financial travesties.

Great Winter Car Insurance Coverage Options

Broad Collision – If you currently have no collision or standard collision, broad collision would be a great upgrade for the winter months. Broad collision makes it so Michigan drivers do not pay the deductible when they are not at-fault. This protects you from paying out of pocket expenses when a careless or out of control vehicle hits your vehicle.

Roadside Assistance – Lots of Michigan residents have been there at some point in time, stuck on the side of the road in blizzard like conditions. Save yourself some money by adding on this usually very inexpensive coverage for the winter months.

Car Rental – Would you be hurting if your vehicle is in the shop for repairs? If you do not have an alternate vehicle, car rental coverage can save the day after a car accident.

Accident Forgiveness – Let’s face it, it can happen to any of us. Sliding on ice and hitting another vehicle or guard rail can seriously raise your insurance rate. Consider adding accident forgiveness to avoid steep insurance rate hikes this winter.

Before you head out this winter, check in with your agent to make sure you have the right coverage for your winter driving. Sometimes changes in driving patterns can mean that you need to change the way you are covered. Any time that you change jobs start school, add a new driver in your household, or the season changes it is a good idea to check in with your insurance agent to make sure that you are covered from hood to bumper.

Michigan Winters need Preparation

Whether it is the mental preparation of surviving another winter, or the preparation that it takes to ensure that you will be able to get to go where you need to go this winter, do not let the winter weather catch you by surprise; plan ahead with your agent by doing a winter weather “check-up” on your policy.

Checking in with your local agent to make sure that you have what you need to make it a great winter for both you and your car is the perfect way to welcome in the new season.

More MI Insurance Tips

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Is Home Insurance Required? Penalties for No Car Insurance In Michigan No License, No Problem

06
Jun 14

Do I Need a Police Report After a Car Accident in Michigan?

A lot of people panic after a car accident. It is understandable. Accidents are high stress situations that do not occur everyday. After an accident you might be wondering what your next step should be. Should I call the police after the car accident? Do I call my insurance agent immediately? What information should I collect? All are valid questions, but the important one right now is whether you should get a police report.

Do I need a police report for an accident on private property in Michigan?

A private property accident includes accidents located in an individual’s driveway or a store parking lot. Police will not come out and fill out a police report for accidents which take place at these locations. Fortunately most accidents which occur at these locations are minor and can be handled easily without a police report. Both drivers should exchange insurance and contact information, then call their own insurance agents to proceed further.

Do I need a police report for an accident on Michigan roadways?

If you are in a collision on Michigan roadways, you are supposed to call the police and get a police report. Even if the accident is minor, the police should be contacted.

Benefits of Notifying the Police

  • Official documentation
  • Fault is usually determined

Cons of Notifying the Police

  • Time spent waiting for the police
  • At-fault driver will probably get a ticket

The not at fault driver always wants a police report and the at fault driver probably does not. It is important to get the police report especially if you are not at fault because it could make or break your claim. Fault is very important when it comes to a car accident. Plus, all of the information including names, phone numbers, location, insurance carriers, and accident description are all collected and put into the report. The at fault driver should accept responsibility and help with the process, it is the law. Driving away after an accident without contacting the police is considered a hit and run which is illegal in the state of Michigan.

Both drivers agree to not call the police.

It most definitely happens. Both parties are in a hurry and damage is minimal so the decision is made to not call the police. Problems can certainly arise when no police report is filed and an insurance claim is made. Stories can change and he said she said becomes an issue. The not at fault driver could be looking at extra expenses if the at fault party does not admit fault. Claims can still be filed, but the process can take longer and fault may not be settled appropriately.

Do I need a police report after a deer crash in Michigan?

It is recommended to get a police report after hitting a deer. The police will document the situation and make arrangements to take care of the deer. Sometimes they even have to put the deer out of its misery. The police report will help your insurance claim go smoothly. Documentation always helps with insurance claims. Some people hit more deer than others. If you happen to be one of the people that hit deer frequently, police reports can minimize the chance of a possible insurance fraud investigation.

Learn More About Michigan Car Insurance Coverage

Help Shopping for Car Insurance


26
May 14

Michigan Collision Coverage

Michigan offers four different options for collision on car insurance. Each coverage has its own set of pros and cons to consider. Learn the basics of the four types of coverage and get even more details and examples by clicking on the coverage you want to learn more about.

Types of Michigan Collision Coverage

  • No Collision Coverage: In Michigan if you do not carry collision coverage of any kind, you will not be covered by your car insurance policy for physical damage to your vehicle from a collision. The most money you can receive from an at-fault driver’s car insurance policy is $1000 and you must know what vehicle caused the damage in order to file a claim.
  • Limited Collision Coverage: Limited collision provides coverage for collisions which are not your fault. Limited collision usually comes with a zero deductible.
  • Standard / Regular Collision Coverage: Standard collision provides coverage regardless of who is at-fault however a deductible will apply in both scenarios. You can recoup you deductible by filing a mini tort claim against the at-fault vehicle’s policy for up to $1000.
  • Broad Collision Coverage: Broad collision provides physical damage coverage for collisions regardless of who is at fault too. The key difference is if you are not at-fault no deductible applies. This comes in very handy when you do not know who caused the damage to your vehicle.

12
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.


21
Feb 14

Stuck in a Pothole Nightmare – Get Help with Insurance

Are you stuck in a pothole nightmare? How about we just dub 2014 the year of the “Pothole” here in Michigan? This has been one of the harshest winters on record across the country and Michigan’s roads are making the moon’s surface look smooth. Pot holes can cause all kinds of damage to your vehicle. Bent rims, popped tires, misalignment, and bad shocks can all be blamed on our treacherous road conditions. So, who foots the bill for these damages?

The State of Michigan

Michigan Pothole NightmareTo my surprise, the state of Michigan, MDOT, does offer some coverage for damage caused by potholes, but you have to meet very specific requirements. They only cover potholes on a trunkline, which refers to freeways which begin with an I, M, or US. You have to prove the state knew of the pothole for more than thirty days before your damage occurred.

So what exactly is covered? If you are able to prove the state knew of the pothole for more than thirty days prior to your damage, then they will reimburse you for the damages above and beyond what your car insurance will pay. Yes, that means you have to file a claim on your auto insurance first or prove you do not carry collision coverage. Essentially, the state will cover your deductible if you have collision coverage.

Other points of interest when filing a claim with the state include if the amount you are submitting is over $1000 you have to file it with Michigan Court of Claims. Go to www.michigan.gov/mdot to download the form and get further instructions about filing a pothole damage claim.

Honestly, only a handful of people actually get reimbursed through the state. I wouldn’t recommend filing a claim with them due to the hassle alone. Potholes pop up quickly. You probably didn’t know about the pothole before you slammed into it. And if you are not the one who reported the pothole thirty days or more ahead of time, then you are going to have a very difficult time proving the state knew about it.

File a Collision Claim on Your Car Insurance

That is right, collision. Many people have the misconception that comprehensive coverage will cover a pothole damage claim. Unfortunately it is considered a collision when you hit a pothole, the same as if you hit a guard rail or mailbox. Not only is it a collision claim, but also an at-fault claim. Meaning, you will have to pay your deductible and are subject to a surcharge when your car insurance policy renews.

The only way around a deductible and surcharge are if you purchased vanishing deductible coverage and accident forgiveness. Not all policies offer these options, but they sure would come in handy right about now. A lot of the time the damage may not exceed your deductible. Lots of people carry $500 or even $1000 deductibles to reduce the overall cost of Michigan’s expensive car insurance policies. Filing a claim may not be an option.

Please keep in mind, all insurance carriers handle pothole claims the same. They all consider them collisions. So there really isn’t a need to get upset with your insurance carrier. You can expect the same results even if you switch carriers.

You Pay Out of Pocket

Right about now you are probably getting annoyed with me because in the title I said “Get Help with Insurance”. Well I will admit I did lead you on a little. Filing a claim on your car insurance is an option, and it might be a good one if you really cannot afford the full cost of your pothole damage repair. But, most likely you are going to be better off paying for this one out of pocket. As frustrating as it maybe, even if the damage is a little over your deductible, paying for the damage yourself might save you overall because of the potential surcharge. At-fault claim surcharges can last three years and the amount can vary.

We are all going to have to be patient this year as the road crews have a whole lot of work to do. Be mindful of potholes in your area and try to avoid them if at all possible. More potholes will surely be popping up as the roads continue to thaw. Hopefully if you do sustain damage from a pothole, your car will only require an alignment. The average cost of an alignment ranges from $50 to $100 depending on the size of your vehicle. Please remain vigilant and be careful out there!

Report a Michigan Pot Hole

Quick Links

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

03
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:


14
Jan 14

What has Been Your Worst Car Accident?

Everyone’s driving history is unique. As an insurance agent, I’ve heard a lot of car accident descriptions. Accidents ranging from falling asleep at the wheel, to getting stuck on top of a deer carcass on the highway. Luckily, I personally have only been in one minor accident.

I was driving my sister’s vehicle at the time, slid on ice, spun 180 degrees, and the tail end of the vehicle hit the median. I was able to drive away after receiving a ticket for driving too fast for weather conditions. I paid her $500 deductible and listened to her complain about the damage for a week until it could get repaired.

My Lessons Learned

  • Do not drive another person’s vehicle
  • Stay home in bad weather conditions
  • Have an emergency fund available for deductibles and even worse tickets

It turned out to be an expensive life lesson, but luckily I did not sustain any injury. I was also lucky she had collision coverage on her vehicle. I have to say though, I have done all of the things on the list to the best of my ability since the accident and it was eleven years ago! I rarely ever drive another person’s vehicle. I hate driving in the winter and I have set up a decent emergency fund just for these types of situations.

What has been your worst car accident? Did your claim go smoothly?

Michigan Collision Coverage Options

Further Reading


05
Jan 14

A Snow Plow Damaged My Car, Now What?

Snow plows hit the roads every winter in many states in the US. Sometimes those same snow plows also hit parked cars. The only time a auto claim can be filed against a snow plow is if the snow plow vehicle has physical contact with your vehicle. Damage from piled up snow will not be covered. So what do you do if a snow plow damages your car? It really depends on what information and proof you have regarding the accident.

File the claim on your insurance policy.

Especially in Michigan, filing the claim on your own insurance policy is the easiest way to go. You do need collision coverage in order to file the claim. Both broad and limited collision make is so you do not pay a deductible. Give your insurance carrier the details of the accident and if they have enough information, they can go after the at-fault party for the damages. If you have standard collision, the same process applies however you will have to pay your listed deductible. It is possible to get reimbursed for the deductible if your insurance carrier is able to go after the at-fault party.

Do you know what snow plow company or municipality caused the damage?

If you do not have collision coverage, you will need to try and file a property damage claim against the at-fault snow plow. Maybe the snow tracks clearly indicate a snow plow is to blame for the damage to your vehicle. However, if you do not know exactly who caused the damage, you will not be able to file a claim.

Contact the responsible snow company to file a claim. Search online for your city’s rules on snow plow damage. Most cities have forms you can fill out online to submit a claim. Then a representative will contact you to start the claim process.

Michigan City Claim Quick Links

Do you have any proof a snow plow damaged your car?

It really does not take much to prove a snow plow damaged your vehicle, yet it still can be hard to get. Take a look at what typically qualifies as proof.

  • Driver admits fault
  • Eye witness (you included)
  • Proof you were parked legally (photo/eye witness)

Do your best to protect your vehicle from snow plow damage. Especially during a major snowstorm, snow plow workers are overworked and driving heavy machinery. They may not even realize they caused damage to your vehicle. Always legally park your vehicle and follow your city’s rules. Look out for Snow State of Emergencies which prohibits road parking.

Check out more great insurance info:

Quick Links

Identity Theft Ice Dam Home Insurance Claim Car Seat Laws

04
Dec 13

Top 5 Michigan Winter Related Car Claims


Winter car insurance claims in Michigan can be hard to handle. Being on guard and aware of your surroundings is your best defense. Avoid common distractions while driving such as cell phones, GPS devices, and snow covered windows your safety and bank account depend on it. Be on the look out for the top five Michigan winter claims this winter season and know what coverage will provide protection.

  • Sliding on Snow and Ice Collision Claim: Whether you hit another car or a guard rail due to sliding on snow or ice, it is considered a collision. The vehicle doing the sliding would most likely be considered at-fault in the accident. Collision coverage is required in order to have coverage to protect you against this type of loss.
  • Tow Claim: Tow claims are always common, but they really increase in the winter time. Again with the sliding on snow and ice, but this time you only hit the ditch. If you are lucky enough to avoid car damage, you can get away with just a tow claim. Roadside assistance or towing is the coverage you would need to provide coverage when you are stuck in the snow.
  • Pot Hole Claim: Pot holes are common on Michigan roads. The freezing and thawing of the roads combined with tons of salt make them nearly impossible to keep filled. Hidden under a blanket of snow can make pot holes even harder to avoid. Pot hole claims are considered at-fault accidents according to Michigan insurance carriers. Collision coverage is required to file a pot hole claim.
  • Deer Claim: Those pesky deer are always causing trouble. The fall months are the most common for deer claims but do not let that allow you to drop your guard. Deer can be seen anytime of the year on Michigan roadways. Comprehensive coverage will be required in order for your insurance company to cover a loss caused by a deer.
  • Hail Damage Claim: Hail can strike at anytime during most Michigan seasons, especially winter. Hopefully, your car is safely parked in the garage during a hail storm, but if you happen to be out and about or parked at work, you could be looking at some serious damage. All those little dings will be covered by your car insurance as long as you carry comprehensive coverage. Low deductibles are common with comprehensive coverage, but it can certainly vary, so check with your insurance agent to determine how much you will have to pay for your deductible.

Snow Covered Road

Michigan data shows most accidents actually occur on clear days. Does that mean there are just more clear days throughout the year or does it mean people let their guard down? Either way, accidents can occur anytime of any day. Defensive driving should be your normal driving style. Take the responsibility of driving seriously and do not ever think it can’t happen to you.

Help with Michigan Car Insurance Coverage

Help Shopping for Car Insurance


03
Dec 13

Will the State of Michigan Pay for a Deer Car Accident?

When you are in a stressful situation, it is common to try and find someone to blame. Hitting a deer in Michigan with your vehicle is a stressful and often costly situation where you might blame the state of Michigan itself. I mean they ought to have better control over the deer population right? Maybe even some guard railing protecting the cars on the roadway from suicidal deer. So can you submit damages to your vehicle from a deer car accident to the state of Michigan?

Well, you can probably submit your information all you want, but you are not going to get any money out of the state of Michigan for a deer car accident. It just is not feasible for the state to cover the losses sustained by deer car accidents. Good luck even trying to get the state of Michigan to pay for pot hole damages to your vehicle.

The best way to protect your car is to purchase comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage provides coverage for car repair after a deer car accident minus your deductible. Keep your deductible in mind when you purchase the coverage and make sure it is an amount that will work within your budget. Many times I have heard clients say a deer car accident is an act of god so the deductible should be waived. Another deer accident myth I’m afraid. Deductibles are in place to keep the overall cost of insurance down. If all animal and weather related claim deductibles were waived, insurance would not be affordable once so ever.

More on Deer Car Claims