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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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