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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Jan 14

Brace Yourself Michigan, Brutal Frigid Weather Is Here

This morning temperatures are averaging -10 and lower. Tow companies are making big money this New Year with dead batteries, cars sliding on snow, and other weather related requests for help. AAA spokeswomen stated over 500 calls came in before noon on Thursday and 3000 calls were received on New Years Day in Michigan.

Before you head out, check your car insurance policy to verify your roadside assistance coverage. Even if it is to early to call your insurance agent, look for your insurance carrier’s customer service phone number. Nearly all companies offer 24/7 customer service hours. It won’t do you much good if you wait until after you get stuck on the side of the road. Other places to look for roadside assistance coverage includes your credit card and cell phone carrier.

Stay safe and stay warm!

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Dec 13

Can Car Insurance be a Christmas Present?

Giving the gift of car insurance might be considered lame to most teen drivers, but it can also be a good reminder about the high cost of insurance. Growing into adulthood and learning about driving expenses such as car insurance and car maintenance can be a tough lesson to learn. Sometimes the best gift you can give your teen is a life lesson.

If you pay for your teen’s car insurance normally…

Paying for your teen’s car insurance on a normal basis is not a bad thing as long as you can afford it. An efficient way to make certain your teen is covered properly is to setup and pay the policy yourself. However, it is also important to teach your young driver about how insurance works and the cost of insurance. Use the holiday to give your new driver a reminder of how much you are actually paying. Wrap up your insurance declaration page which shows your teen’s vehicle and highlight their coverage and premium amount.

If your teen pays their car insurance on their own…

A great way to teach a young driver about car insurance is to have them purchase and pay for it on their own. Covering the cost for a month or a full six months is a great Christmas gift to give. It will open up your teen’s hard earned money to hopefully be spent on other responsible purchases. Go to your teen’s insurance agent and request to make their payment. Give your young driver the receipt and see their delight.

Keep up the good work preparing young drivers about car insurance. It is a very important and it is not taught in school. It is better to learn early on, rather than to be shocked down the road.

Have you ever considered giving car insurance as a gift?

Further Reading

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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Dec 13

2014 Detroit Auto Show Cars and Insurance

The famed 2014 Detroit Auto Show is fast approaching with the public show going from January 18th through the 26th at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. Detroit’s auto show is a very fun time for both car enthusiasts and the general public. There is always lots to see from all the big car manufacturers. Everything from new car reveals to concept cars. See the newest technology going into cars including touch screens, push button parking, and vehicle to vehicle communication.

Anticipated Vehicle Reveals for Detroit’s 2014 Auto Show

Some of these vehicles are still in the concept stage of design while others are nearly ready for production. So how do you insure a vehicle that is coming into production for the first time? Most likely, if you can afford one of these fancy sports cars you are not horribly concerned with the cost of insurance. But when it comes time to add it to your car insurance policy, you might run into some snags.

How to Insure a Newly Produced Vehicle

Most insurance carriers will not have brand new vehicles input into their system immediately. So if you are one of the first to purchase a new vehicle, you will probably have to use stated value as its rating base. Stated value tells the insurance carrier the value of the vehicle to help determine how much you will pay to insure it. Stated value means the insurance carrier will pay the stated value amount or actual cash value whichever is lower. So, you do not want to low ball your stated value amount. I recommend going with the MSRP, Manufacture’s Suggested Retail Price, of the vehicle regardless if you pay less.

I hope you enjoy the auto show. It is so much fun to dream big. Just remember if you plan on buying big in the near future, you need to insure it too. Get advice from your insurance agent to make certain you are insured properly in case of a major accident.

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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.

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Nov 13

Michigan Deer Vehicle Crash, Collision, Accident

It does not matter how you phrase it, deer rack up tons of damage to vehicles in crashes, collisions, and accidents in the state of Michigan. More than 60,000 crashes are reported every year in Michigan and a whole lot more go unreported. If you are commonly in the car during the hours of dawn and dusk, you are very likely to encounter contact with a deer.

Am I covered for a deer accident?

Auto insurance does cover deer as long as you purchased comprehensive coverage on the vehicle in question. Most of the time a deductible is assigned to comprehensive. The deductible is the amount you will have to pay out of pocket to get your vehicle repaired. It might be $100, it might be $500 you will have to check your declaration page or ask your insurance agent to verify your coverage.

But the deer hit me!

It is not uncommon for deer to run directly into the side of a moving vehicle. It really does not matter if you hit the deer or the deer hits you, the claim is handled the same. You will have to pay your deductible.

How long will it take to get my vehicle fixed?

That is a loaded question. Mid to late fall is the peak time for deer accidents and body shops can get buried in repairs. It is still reasonable to expect your repairs to be completed within two weeks. Often vehicles which are rendered undrive-able will be considered a high priority for repairs. Make sure you communicate well with your body shop and leave them the best phone number to reach you. Nothing delays a repair quite like miss communication.

Will a deer accident affect my car insurance rate?

Nowadays more and more insurance carriers are surcharging for comprehensive claims. However, some preferred insurance carriers still allow for comprehensive claims without changing your rate. I like to think of it like this. If you have had no car insurance claims for the last three years, and I mean none, do you think it is fair to pay the same rate as the guy who has hit two deer this year? It my guess the no claim person would expect to pay less. Nobody wants to pay more of course and like mentioned earlier, sometimes deer hit you. When you are shopping for a car insurance quote, ask if comprehensive claims raise rates.

Deer Vehicle Crash Tips

  • Do not swerve!
  • Be extra cautious at dusk and dawn
  • Insure all vehicles with comprehensive coverage

Sep 13

Do I Need Car Insurance to Buy a Car?

Generally speaking, you should have car insurance in place before you actually buy a car. As it is with almost all insurance matters there are some exceptions. Understanding the rules when it comes to making a new car purchase will ensure you do not break any laws. Take a look at some circumstances when you do and do not need to have car insurance in place to buy a car.

When Do I Need Car Insurance

  • Buying a Car from a Dealer

    Buying a car from a dealer is the number one time when you will need car insurance to buy a car. Most car dealers will not allow you to drive off the lot without a copy of your proof of insurance. Many car salesmen will actually call your insurance company and add the vehicle to your policy on your behalf. It can be helpful, but you ought to verify the coverage is listed the way you want it and any other changes are made properly. If you pay cash, the dealer may not verify your insurance, but it is certainly still a good idea.

  • Buying a Car from an Individual

    Buying a car from an individual means you are on your own. It is your responsibility to get the vehicle insured as soon as possible.

  • When is it ok to delay insuring a newly purchased vehicle?

    • Antique / Not Driveable
    • Your current insurance policy offers automatic 30 days of coverage for newly purchased vehicles

    An antique or a vehicle which cannot be driven does not need to be insured if towed and stored in a garage. Of course that means you will not have any coverage if any damage occurs to the vehicle while towed or stored. Homeowner’s insurance policies never cover automobiles in Michigan.

    Most preferred insurance carriers offer 30 days of automatic coverage for a newly purchased vehicle. The coverage extended is that of which vehicle has the most coverage currently on your policy. Meaning if you only have liability coverage on your current policy, that is all that will be extended to your new purchase. Plus, you could still have a difficult time filing a claim on a vehicle which has not yet been added to your policy. Proof of purchase will need to be supplied and delays are possible. It is definitely recommended to ask your insurance agent about any kind of automatic coverage. Never assume anything when it comes to car insurance.

    To legally drive in Michigan, the state minimum coverage is required on all vehicles. To get a vehicle titled proof of insurance is required. Get the vehicle identification number of the vehicle you are purchasing and call your insurance agent. Let them know you are in the process of purchasing the vehicle. If the deal falls through, notify your agent and the vehicle can be removed as if it never happened. Add car insurance when buying a car as soon as possible to ensure you are protected in case of a loss.

    Learn More About Michigan Car Insurance Coverage

    Help Shopping for Car Insurance

Aug 13

What if I Do Not Have Collision Coverage in Michigan?

Going without collision coverage in Michigan can be risky business. Michigan no-fault laws make it so your own policy covers you. Meaning you cannot get full reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s policy in a collision. Michigan does however have what is called a limited property damage or mini tort claim.

Technically the coverage on your car insurance policy is called limited property damage. And to access someone’s limited property damage coverage you would file what is called a mini tort claim. Recently Michigan lawmakers increased the limited property damage coverage up to $1000.

Example: James was rear-ended at a stop sign. He does not have collision coverage on his auto insurance policy. His policy will not provide coverage to repair his vehicle. James does however know who rear-ended him and a police report was filed. James can now file a mini tort claim against the at-fault vehicle’s auto policy. Since James’ damage exceeds $1000 he is eligible to receive $1000 from the at-fault vehicle’s limited property damage coverage.

James is lucky. He would be out of luck had his accident been a hit and run. He would not be able to collect from his own policy and without knowing who hit him, he would not be able to file a mini tort claim. This is the biggest pit fall when it comes to going without collision coverage in Michigan. You could be left empty handed or short changed when another driver causes you to be in a collision.

What you need to file a mini tort claim in Michigan:

  • Contact info of the at-fault party and their auto insurance company. Sometimes this is provided on the police report.
  • A police report/and or the at-fault party admitting fault
  • An estimate from a body shop showing the cost of repairs
  • A copy of your declaration page showing you do not have collision or have standard collision with a deductible

Coordinate with the at-fault vehicle’s insurance company to make sure the claim is filed and the documentation is received. If you need help, ask your insurance agent. You do not need a lawyer to file a mini tort claim. It should be a fairly simple process so long as you have the proper paperwork.

Check out the different types of collision coverage in Michigan to make sure you select the right coverage for you and your family.

Further Reading

  • How to Compare Insurance Quotes
  • Online Car Insurance Tips
  • The Ultimate Guide to Cheap Car Insurance

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    Aug 13

    Do I Have to Pay the MCCA Fee?

    Looking through your car insurance policy, you might come across the MCCA fee and wonder whether you actually need to pay it. The MCCA fee is a mandatory part of Michigan’s no fault insurance policies. So, yes you will need to pay it in order to drive your car legally in Michigan. The money goes directly to the state of Michigan which puts it into a fund to cover catastrophic auto accident injuries. Michigan is the only state which requires unlimited medical coverage on all auto policies.

    3 Ways to Not Pay the MCCA Fee

    • Have your vehicle in storage meaning the only coverage listed on the vehicle is comprehensive.
    • Purchase a non-owners car insurance policy. A non-owners policy is for when you do not own a vehicle. The MCCA fee is not charged with a non-owners car insurance policy.
    • Move out of Michigan (other states do not pay the MCCA fee)

    All other auto policies in Michigan will automatically be charged the MCCA fee. As of July 1st 2014, the MCCA fee is $75 every six months per insured vehicle. This is the first year in several years there was not an increase. Most insurance carriers list the MCCA fee separately because it is a state fee not an insurance company fee.

    Why is the MCCA Fee so Expensive?

    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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