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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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.

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Aug 14

How to Get SR 22 Insurance in Michigan

Getting SR-22 insurance in Michigan is necessary when you are deemed a high-risk to insure. The process takes a bit of time, is more expensive than traditional insurance, but can be done fairly quickly in Michigan. Whether you are high-risk or not you have to maintain a certain amount of no-fault coverage if you plan to operate a motor vehicle legally.

No-Fault Coverage Requirements

There was a lot of thought that went into the development of the no-fault insurance coverage requirements. It eliminated the need for unnecessary litigation and argument about who was at fault. All people involved and hurt receive compensation for injuries. It makes the time to wait for payment much less. The one that is eventually found at fault enjoys a higher premium.

Michigan requires you to carry a policy that provides at least:

  • $20,000 in bodily injury coverage
  • $40,000 in multiple injuries
  • $10,000 in property damage

What is SR-22 Insurance?

SR-22 insurance literally stands for “safety responsibility.” It is not an actual policy. It is just paperwork that verifies that you have an insurance policy. Your insurance company prepares it and files it with the appropriate motor vehicle agency as proof that you have an existing policy.

Any violation resulting in a suspension of driving privileges requires establishing a high risk policy and SR-22 proof of it. Convictions of DUI, reckless driving or even driving without insurance can draw the penalty.

There are times the court will require you to carry a policy and submit an SR-22 whether you own a vehicle or not. It will be stipulated for a certain number of years after the conviction. This is fairly common with DUI convictions. If you fail to make your insurance premium payments then the SR-22 is cancelled and the motor vehicle department will receive SR-22 paperwork. Your license is then suspended until you file a new SR-22.

How to Get an Insurance Policy with SR-22 Documentation

If you are required to have high-risk insurance and provide SR-22 documentation then you will have to start the search for a company that will be willing to offer you coverage. You really need to make sure that it is adequate for the coverage that the state requires. Be prepared for it to have a high price tag, at least initially.

Since time is of the essence you want to make sure that you deal with an insurance company that will get your documents prepared and sent in to the motor vehicle department timely. Missing deadlines can spell disaster if you are trying to stay in the good graces of the curt and earn your driving privileges back.

The better options are usually with more well-known nationwide insurance companies. You need to make sure that you are talking with someone that is familiar with the laws of SR-22 in Michigan. States can vary in both coverage requirements and time limitations.

The Follow-Through

When you get the required insurance coverage and verify it with SR-22 documents, it will eventually get you in a better position of getting past the issues and getting full driving privileges back. After about 3 years of paying the high-risk premiums you may get to drop down to normal coverage with normal rates. It may seem overly expensive and a burden at the time, but getting this coverage and maintaining it without fail will get you free of the extra expense sooner than later.

The whole reasoning behind SR-22 is so the insurance company is aware of the higher risk they’re taking on in insuring you, and that the motor vehicle department can be confident that you have the proper amount of coverage.

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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.

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Mar 14

Someone Broke Into My Car and Stole Personal Items

Unfortunately it happens, you come out to your car and the door has been pried open or your window smashed. Personal items have been stolen. Maybe a a car radio, a camera, a purse, Christmas presents, and who knows what? How does insurance handle a situation like this?

As with most insurance claims, it can get complicated sorting out what coverage covers what. Let me break it down for you.

Covered by Comprehensive Coverage

  • Damage to your car from break-in
  • Stolen Factory Installed Radio

Covered by Home Insurance

  • Camera
  • Purse
  • Other Personal Belongings

What about custom stereo equipment?

High value custom stereo equipment usually requires an extra endorsement on your car insurance policy. Most policies come with a low automatic coverage for custom equipment. If you have any high dollar upgrades, you need to notify your insurance company so you are covered in a situation like this. Your comprehensive deductible will still apply.

Will I have to pay two deductibles?

Actually, it is possible. A broken door handle or broken glass will fall under your car insurance and stolen personal items will be covered by your home insurance. How much you pay in deductibles depends on how you have your policies setup. It is a possibility to get your deductibles combined if you have your car and home insurance insured with the same insurance carrier. It never hurts to ask. Ask your claim adjuster or insurance agent if combining deductibles is possible.

The Hard Truth

A lot of vandalism and car break ins amount to a fairly low dollar amount loss. Many times the loss will not exceed your deductible. As frustrating as it is, you may be out of luck when it comes to getting compensated.

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Further Reading

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

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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

Jul 13

What is the Difference Between Comprehensive and Collision?

Both comprehensive coverage and collision coverage cover physical damage to your vehicle. However, each coverage has its own set of rules and only applies to certain types of damage. Pay close attention to your car insurance coverage to prevent confusion and claim delay. Knowing the difference between comprehensive and collision can save you a lot of grief at the time of a claim.

Rules to Comprehensive

  • Can be added without collision
  • Can be a stand alone coverage if you have another vehicle insured
  • Comprehensive is often purchased with a low deductible like $100
  • Covers anything other than a collision. Deer, flying objects, fire, theft, and vandalism are all comprehensive claims.

Rules to Collision

  • Cannot purchase collision without comprehensive
  • Covers collisions with other cars and inanimate objects like buildings, stop signs, light poles, and mailboxes.
  • Collision is often purchased with a higher deductible like $500

Comprehensive claims are often smaller type claim which cause less damage. For that reason insurance carriers often charge a lower rate for comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage has the potential to cover very large claims. A collision with another car at a high speed can easily total out a vehicle. That is why collision coverage tends to be a more expensive coverage.

Always understand what a coverage is before purchasing it on your car insurance policy. Knowing these types of things before you have an accident will make the situation much less stressful because you will know what to expect. Being caught off guard at the time of an accident in regards to your car insurance can be extremely upsetting.

Learn More About Michigan Car Insurance Coverage

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Jul 13

What is Comprehensive Insurance Coverage?

A very popular car insurance coverage in Michigan is comprehensive insurance coverage. Comprehensive covers a wide variety of physical damage to vehicles. The all encompassing way to phrase it is that it covers anything other than collision. So that leaves a whole slew of things which can happen to a vehicle.

The Most Common Comprehensive Insurance Coverage Claims

  • Deer or other animal
  • Windshield Damage
  • Vandalisim
  • Hail

Hitting a deer in Michigan is a fairly common occurrence especially for those of you living in rural areas. Comprehensive does not only cover deer though. A raccoon, a bird, or even a dog can damage your car if they get in the road. Comprehensive coverage will cover the damages regardless of what type of animal is hit.

Windshields can get damaged in lots of different ways. Actually comprehensive covers all glass damage whether it is your windshield, side window, or rear window. It will cover flying objects and falling trees.

Vandalism is unfortunately a possibility of damage to anyone’s vehicle. If your vehicle was keyed or your side mirror was busted, comprehensive is the coverage which will cover the repairs. A police report will need to be filed in order to get your claim filed.

Hail can cause a lot of damage quickly. Luckily all of those little dents can be fixed with the help of comprehensive coverage.

More Comprehensive Insurance Coverage Losses

  • Flood
  • Theft
  • Fire

Does Comprehensive Insurance Coverage Come With a Deductible?

It is possible to purchase comprehensive insurance coverage without a deductible, however it becoming more and more rare. $100 is a common comprehensive deductible and $500 is growing in popularity with insurance carriers. Check your insurance declaration page or call your agent to find out what your deductible is for comprehensive.

More Michigan Car Insurance Coverage

Help Shopping for Car Insurance

Jun 13

How to Get a Car Insurance Quote

Purchasing a car insurance policy begins by getting car insurance quotes. In order to find the best insurance rate, you will need to get quotes from a couple of different sources. When getting quotes focus on a couple of main aspects to narrow your search of the perfect car insurance policy for you.

Provide Accurate Information

  • Name, address, and birth date for all drivers
  • Any tickets or accidents for all drivers
  • Prior car insurance liability limits
  • Vehicle VIN numbers and or year, make, and model

Providing accurate information is a necessity for an accurate quote. Not disclosing tickets or being unsure of your prior liability limits could make for a drastic difference in price. Once you go to purchase a quote all the details are finalized and you could end up with a different price than the original quote if you are not being completely honest.

Request the Same Coverage with Every Quote

  • Select Liability Limits
  • Select Comprehensive and or Collision
  • Select Deductibles

It is okay to check prices of different coverages, but when shopping around make sure you are comparing the same coverage from one insurance company to another. Insurance quotes come highly customized and it is easy to forget to make certain quotes match apples to apples.

Check with Different Types of Insurance Companies

  • Online Insurance ex: Esurance, Geico, Progressive
  • Captive Agents ex: Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide
  • Independent Agents ex: Multiple carriers with one agent Allied, AutoOwners, Safeco

Spreading out your quote search by checking with different types of companies, you are more likely to find the best company for you. It is not necessary to get a quote from every single insurance carrier. Find one you are comfortable with and is offering a fair rate when compared with a couple of others.

Do Not Forget About Service

  • Friendly agent or representative
  • Knowledgeable about their product
  • Fast to get back with you
  • Easy to use website if purchasing online

Getting a quote is the first test of potential future customer service. You will be dealing with this agency or website on a regular basis. It only makes sense to make sure the agency is reliable and competent to handle your business. Ask lots of questions to get a feel for the agent.

Keep Track

  • Price
  • Coverage
  • Customer Service

Keep track of all the categories. Write down the price, the coverage, and customer service experience for every quote you get. It will make it easier to make an educated decision on which quote is the best for you. Now you know how to get quotes, get to work. Lots of reasons exist to get car insurance quotes including because it can save you money. With a little effort, you will be set with your new car insurance policy in no time.

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