If you’ve lived in Michigan for a while, you know that affordable car insurance is really hard to find. It feels like you have a better chance of spotting Pressie, the monster serpent in Lake Superior, than you do finding an affordable insurance policy that won’t bust your budget.
Don’t give up: We can help! We’ll walk you through the process of comparing Michigan car insurance quotes so you can get a cheap policy that works for you.
Why is Michigan Car Insurance so Expensive?
Dismayed by the high cost of insurance in Michigan? You’re not alone — and it’s not your fault! Michigan’s car insurance rates are so expensive because the state has a no-fault insurance law with an unlimited medical benefit for injured drivers. This means that if you get hurt in an auto accident, your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will pay all necessary medical expenses with no maximum limit, as well as up to 85 percent of the income you would have earned (up to $5,541 per month), for up to three years.
This is great news if you get injured in a crash. It’s really bad news for everyone else. The cost of Michigan car insurance has tripled in the last 25 years, and PIP accounts for more than half of your premiums, on average. In Detroit, car insurance is especially expensive: The average annual expenditure is more than $10,700. Who can afford that?
How Can I Find the Cheapest Michigan Car Insurance?
Because every car insurance company calculates risk — and therefore, rates — differently, you don’t know who will give you the best deal until you compare quotes from several insurers. Start with state minimum insurance to see your lowest possible rates, then compare quotes for higher levels of insurance coverage until you find a policy you’re happy with.
Cheap Liability Coverage in Michigan
Michigan’s no-fault laws have caused the cost of insurance to go sky-high, which means cheap liability insurance is really, really tough to find.
In Michigan, you must have at least a 20/40/10 policy: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident in bodily injury liability, plus $10,000 in property damage liability. You also need matching levels of uninsured motorist coverage and unlimited personal injury protection. Your best shot at obtaining cheap liability coverage is using Compare.com to look at multiple insurers’ offers, then choosing the lowest. Just be aware that your age, gender, driving history, and other factors may influence your quotes.
For example, when we ran the numbers for a 27-year-old driver in Grand Rapids with a great driving record, her best quote was $159 per month. But if she had an at-fault accident two years ago, her lowest rate jumps to $228 per month.
What are Michigan’s State Minimum Insurance Requirements?
Michigan’s no-fault car insurance system is unlike any other state’s. If you have a vehicle registered in the state, you’re required to carry:
- Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance with no maximum limit: This pays for your medical care, lost wages, etc. if you get hurt in an accident
- Property protection insurance (PPI) with a mandatory limit of $1 million: This pays for damage you cause to parked cars or other property — but not cars being driven
- Bodily injury liability: up to $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: up to $10,000
In Michigan, bodily injury and property damage liability are called “residual liability insurance.” In most cases, you wouldn’t have to use this coverage; but if you strike an out-of-state driver, or you cause an accident in another state, this coverage would come into play.
Is Michigan's Minimum Insurance Enough Coverage to Protect Me?
That depends on a few factors.
One: How new is your car? If it’s pretty new, or if you have a loan, you’ll need to protect it with comprehensive and collision coverage.
Two: How often do you travel out of state? In neighboring states, like Indiana and Ohio, you can be sued if you cause an accident – so you may want to protect yourself with more than the minimum bodily injury liability.
Three: What kind of assets do you have? If you own a house or investments, you should make sure you have enough insurance to protect those assets from a lawsuit.
Can I be Sued for Causing a Car Accident in Michigan?
A lot of people think no-fault insurance means you can never be sued for causing a car accident. That’s not the case! In Michigan, you can be sued if:
- You cause an accident in which someone is killed, seriously injured, or permanently disfigured
- You’re in an accident in Michigan with someone who lives in another state and is an occupant of a motor vehicle not registered in Michigan
- You’re involved in an accident in another state
- You’re 50 percent or more at fault in an accident which causes damages to another person’s car which are not covered by insurance; in this case, you can only be sued for a maximum of $1,000 — hence the nickname, “mini-tort”
What Happens if I Drive Without Insurance in Michigan?
Because Michigan auto insurance is so expensive, a lot of people simply don’t buy it. More than 20 percent of MI drivers are uninsured. But driving without insurance is a really bad idea.
For one, you’ll get in legal trouble if you’re caught. A conviction for driving uninsured can mean up to one year in jail, a fine of $200 to $500, or both. Your driver’s license and registration may also be suspended.
But that’s not the end of it. If you get into an accident while uninsured, you’re on your own. You get no coverage for damage to your car, for damage to other people’s property, for medical bills, or for lost wages. Even if the other driver was 100 percent at fault, uninsured drivers aren’t allowed to sue for pain and suffering damages.
It’s a lot easier (and smarter) to just buy insurance! See how much you can save by comparing.
What Fees Will I Have to Pay When Buying a Car in Michigan?
If you’re in the market for a new or used car, you’ll need to budget for more than just the vehicle’s sticker price. You’ll be on the hook for basic DMV fees like title, license plate, and registration fees no matter where and how you purchase your new car, truck or SUV, as well as buying a new car insurance policy for your car. But some buyers will find themselves with additional fees such as sales tax, documentation fees, personal property tax, emissions and inspection fees, hybrid and electric vehicle fees, lien recording fees and a slew of other costs.
Check out Compare.com’s comprehensive vehicle costs breakdown to make sure you account for all the added fees you might be on the hook for when buying a car in Michigan.