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.

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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


16
Jun 14

Mini Torts and Limited Property Damage Claims

Michigan has a special coverage listed on their no-fault policies to cover damage caused by an at-fault driver. It only applies if the not at-fault car does not have broad or limited collision on its insurance policy. The coverage is called limited property damage and most people call the claim itself a mini tort claim. Essentially mini tort and limited property damage are referring to the same thing. A small amount of money on Michigan car insurance policies setup to cover at-fault damages to someone else’s vehicle.

How much does limited property damage coverage cost?

The cost of limited property damage coverage is actually minimal when compared to other Michigan car insurance coverages. Expect to pay somewhere between $5 and $15 per vehicle per six month policy period. The low cost of the coverage makes it a must have on your Michigan auto policy. Most Michigan insurance agents automatically add it to every policy quoted.

Is limited property damage a required coverage?

Legally, no. It is not required, but it is really silly not to purchase it. A very high percentage of Michigan drivers carry limited property damage. More times than not, I bet those who do not have it, setup their own policy with online insurance. Online insurance carriers often do not add limited property damage automatically and the purchaser does not know the cost or understand the coverage.

What if I am in an at-fault accident and do not have limited property damage on my policy?

The not at-fault party can take you to small claims court for the $1000 and they will most likely win. Then you will have to pay the court costs too. I would recommend paying this one out of pocket without court hassles, and immediately update your policy to list limited liability coverage on all your vehicles. Remember $1000 is all the not at-fault party is eligible for as long as you have an active auto insurance policy at the time of the accident.

What is considered a mini tort claim in Michigan?

  • Two vehicles in a collision and the not at-fault vehicle has no collision.
  • Two vehicles in a collision and the not at-fault vehicle has standard collision with a deductible.
    • How much money is paid out for a mini tort claim?

      Last year the mini tort claim payout in Michigan was increased to $1000. You are only eligible for the full $1000 if your damages meet or exceed the limit.

      What do you need to file a mini tort claim?

      • You must know who caused the damage to your vehicle.
      • A police report is important but a claim can be filed without one if the at fault driver admits fault.
      • A copy of your declarations page showing your collision coverage.
      • An estimate of the damage to your vehicle from a body shop.

      How does a mini tort claim affect insurance?

      • Not at-fault drivers are not affected at all. The claim is filed on the at-fault car’s insurance policy.
      • At-fault drivers are looking at an at-fault accident on their driving record. At-fault accidents typically make your insurance rate go up. Some insurance carriers do not surcharge unless more than $500 is paid out. And some people carry special coverage called accident forgiveness to avoid at-fault accident increases.

      Mini tort claims might sound complicated to Michigan drivers because we are so used to filing claims with our own insurance carriers. But, its really an easy process and you can do it yourself. Just call the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver and they will walk you through the claims process.

      Sometimes your car insurance agent will help you through the process too depending on your relationship with your agent. Since the claim is not filed with your insurance carrier though, some agents will direct you to the at-fault car’s insurance carrier. Don’t worry though. As long as you have all the documentation, your mini tort claim should not take more than two to three weeks to file and get your claim check.

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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:


26
Jan 14

Michigan’s 2014 Car Seat Laws

Every parent wants to ensure their child is protected to the fullest extent when it comes to riding in the car. Car seats are not always convenient, but they do serve a very useful purpose. Car seat laws are in place to keep children safe. They also keep parents informed of the safest ways to transport young children in automobiles. Recently, car seat laws have been revised to help keep small children as safe as possible.

New LATCH System Rules

2014 Car Seat LawsIt has been determined the LATCH system, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, has a weight limit of 65 lbs. The weight limit now includes the weight of the car seat. Car seats can vary quite a bit in weight often ranging from 15 lbs up to 33 lbs. It is important to know the weight of both your car seat and your child. If car manufacturer’s are concerned with the LATCH system holding up in an accident with weight over 65 lbs, you should be too. Once the combination of weight of 65 lbs has been exceeded, switch over to using a seat belt to hold the child and the car seat securely.

Other Car Seat Laws and Recommendations

  • Use a rear facing car seat until the age of 2
  • Children under 4 ride in the back seat in a car seat
  • Use a car seat or booster seat until child is 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall, whichever comes first

Anytime you have concerns about your child seat being installed properly, be sure to get a free inspection at a Child Car Seat Inspection Station. Michigan has close to 250 available Child Car Seat Stations throughout the state. Follow the car seat laws in order to keep your child safe as possible. Image: kdshutterman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Further Reading


13
Dec 13

The Best Way of Obtaining a Police Report in Michigan

Police reports in Michigan have gone digital. The best and seemingly only way to obtain a police report in Michigan is online. Police reports are very handy to have when it comes to filing an auto insurance claim. Getting a police report after a car accident will provide detailed information of all the people involved, the vehicles involved, insurance info for all parties, and a description of the accident.

How to Get a Police Report Online:

  • The responding police officer will give all parties involved a business card with the police report number listed.
  • Wait three to five days for the police report to be processed
  • Go to Authorizetransaction.com
  • Select your city’s police department
  • Enter the accident date
  • Enter the police report number
  • Enter last name of person involved

The date of your accident is important, so do not forget it. Authorizetransaction.com charges $10 for reports. In their terms of use they clearly state prices are subject to change without notice. It is easy to access your police report 24/7 on this site as long as you have the required information.

Other Options:

Check with your police department: Most police departments will refer you to use the online service. However, some units allow reports to be obtained in person. Plan on having your picture ID ready and also plan on paying a fee. Many will expect cash or check only. Also beware, it might take longer than the standard 3 to 5 days to complete a report.

Mailing in a request is also a possibility. Ask the police department for the mailing address. Send the police report number along with a self address envelope. You will also need to include the report fee. Accessing the report online is sounding better and better.

Won’t my insurance carrier get the police report for me?

Good news! Most of the time, yes your insurance carrier will get the police report for you in Michigan. Most standard collisions will be handled by your insurance carrier due to the No-Fault law. When you report your insurance claim, give the claim representative the police report number and they will take care of the rest.

Mini Tort Claim:

When it comes to a mini tort claim, usually you will be responsible for getting a copy of the police report. A mini tort claim is a claim you file against the at-fault driver when you, the not at-fault driver has to pay a deductible or has no collision coverage. The police report will be used to verify you were not at-fault.

Some insurance agents help their clients file mini tort claims, however your agent really should not be personally responsible for the police report fee. The agent is going out of the way to help you file a claim against another insurance carrier, they should not hold the burden of paying the police report fee too.

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31
Oct 13

Will Michigan Become a 2 Plate State?

A two license plate requirement could be coming back to the state of Michigan according to a recent bill proposal in Lansing. It is hot topic for many Michigan drivers concerned about fighting crime, cost, and appearance. Michigan is one of nineteen states who currently only have a one license plate requirement. As with any law change, there are both pros and cons to adding a front license plate to Michigan vehicles.

Pros of Adding a 2nd License Plate in Michigan

  • Help police locate vehicles
  • Easier to identify those who run through stop signs and red lights
  • Safety in extra reflective surface when lights are forgotten

Cons of Adding a 2nd License Plate in Michigan

  • Potential extra cost (nothing is free)
  • Appearance of a font plate on a fancy car
  • Possible car depreciation of adding a second plate
  • One extra thing to add to your to-do list

We have had two plates in the past in Michigan. I think both the pros and the cons are a bit of a stretch. Either way it comes down to the money. How much will the state earn in extra traffic tickets? And how much is adding a second plate going to cost us? What do you think about Michigan becoming a 2 plate state?

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