Getting the car insurance you need for the best price in the Great Lakes State.
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Before you hit the road to explore Michigan’s Great Lakes, make sure you have the proper car insurance coverage. If you’re new to Michigan you need to know the minimum insurance coverage requirements and compare providers to get the best price.Michigan is a no-fault state. Which means that no matter what insurance you go with, you’ll need no-fault liability, personal injury and property coverage. Make sure you carry proof of your insurance plan with you — including digital versions on any smart device.
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Average car insurance costs in Michigan
Here’s the bad news: Michigan is almost always ranked as the most expensive state in the country when it comes to car insurance costs. While the national average for car insurance is usually between $1,200 and $1,300 per year, Michigan’s average annual cost for standard auto insurance is known to top $2,200. There are quite a few reasons for this, which we’ll get into below.
The good news is that no matter how much the state’s average costs are, you can still pay far less and save a lot of money by controlling a few variables and finding ways to earn discounts on your coverage. If you saved 20% with provider discounts alone, your costs could immediately drop down to the range of $1,600 a year — and that’s not amazing, but it’s an improvement. And you can continue to save by using our tips for better car insurance rates.
Common car insurance discounts
It’s a good idea to ask your provider about available discounts. Options will vary depending on the insurer, but common discounts include discounts for good students, multi-car policies, having anti theft devices, multiple-policy bundles, paying up front, being a homeowner, being claim free, and having factory-installed safety devices.
8 tips to save on your car insurance coverage
Avoid driving something flashy. This is where driving something made in Detroit can help you out — as long as you choose something like a Chevy Traverse or a Buick Enclave, and not a Corvette. Sports cars tend to be driven fast, putting them at a higher risk for accidents; they’re also more expensive to fix, as a rule. These things usually add up to higher insurance costs, meaning you can save by driving an inexpensive car that doesn’t beg to be driven on a race track.
Fun fact: Toyota Camrys and Honda Odysseys are both manufactured in Detroit too! Both are also safe vehicles that could help keep your insurance costs relatively low.
Lower coverage amounts on low-value vehicles. If you commute in an older vehicle that isn’t worth a whole lot, you probably don’t need comprehensive or even collision coverage. This is because the premiums and deductibles for a policy like that can outstrip the value of the car within a year or two, meaning you could have just bought a similar new car with what you spent on insurance. Lowering your coverage amounts and eliminating extra policy features will give you a lower monthly payment and maybe even a lower deductible.
Increase your deductible. Raising your deductible will lower your premiums immediately. However, you have to take care not to raise it too much — if it’s more than you can pay in the event of a crash, your insurance provider won’t pay the additional costs. When this happens, your insurance policy isn’t helping you.
Keep your record clean. A handful of things in your past can really hurt your chances of getting a low insurance rate. These include traffic tickets, accidents, and making a lot of insurance claims, among many other factors. But fewer black marks on your driving record, especially DUIs or reckless driving violations, will mean a lower rate.
Don’t overlook local insurers. Check to see if there are any local or regionally based insurance providers that might give you a great rate. Even if they don’t offer all the perks of a national company, like a mobile app and 24/7 customer service, you could end up with a better value for your money.
Use car alarms and anti theft devices. Decreasing risk of theft or vandalism is a good way to help lower your insurance rates, because insurance providers like to see the chances of a claim go down. And if you live in a high crime area or park on the street at night, this could be especially important. It’s a good start to have a car alarm installed. But when you add a kill switch, coded door locks, or something more manually involved like a steering wheel or tire lock, you can help deter theft and break-ins without spending more than a couple hundred dollars.
Stay current on your bills. Your credit score is likely to impact your insurance rates, and your payment history with your insurer can have an even more direct impact. By paying all your bills on time and keeping that credit score high, you stand a greater chance of getting the car insurance rates you want.
Look for a bundle deal. You can usually get 15-25% off your coverage by bundling car insurance with your life insurance, homeowner’s or renters insurance under one provider. Talk to an agent to see if this is something you can do.
Can my credit score affect my insurance costs in Michigan?
Yes it can, and most likely will — for better or worse. Multiple studies have linked low credit scores to elevated accident risk, and because of these studies, insurance providers tend to charge drivers more if their credit score is below average. But on the other hand, a great credit score can help you secure a more favorable rate too.
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Driving requirements in Michigan
Every driver in the state of Michigan is required to carry minimum liability insurance coverage that includes:
$20,000 bodily injury liability per person.
$40,000 bodily injury liability total per accident.
$10,000 property damage liability total per accident.
When shopping for insurance, you’ll see this coverage written as 20/40/10.
In addition to liability, Michigan requires that you have no-fault car insurance to cover injuries and damages in an accident, no matter who’s at fault. This includes personal injury protection and personal property insurance.
What is personal injury protection (PIP) coverage?
Personal injury protection coverage pays up to 80% of any medical costs resulting from an accident and up to 60% for lost wages — regardless of who caused it. If there’s any ambiguity about who is at fault, you’re still protected.
Some states require that you carry uninsured or underinsured motorist’s coverage (UM/UIM), which protects you if you’re in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Michigan does not require this coverage — though 1 in 5 drivers on the roads in Michigan don’t carry minimum coverage, so you might want to consider adding it to your plan.
If you plan on driving on the roads in Michigan, you might want extra coverage for peace of mind.
Limited property damage. Drivers may recover up to $1,000 from the at-fault driver’s insurance company for vehicle damage repair costs.
Gap coverage. If your leased or financed car is totaled in an accident, this coverage pays the difference between what your insurer will cover and the remainder of your existing loan or lease.
Rental coverage. Helps pay for a rental car if you need one after an accident.
Towing and labor. Provides reimbursement for towing and labor required when your car is damaged in an accident.
Custom parts and equipment (CPE). Helps cover permanently installed custom parts or equipment, devices, accessories, enhancements, etc. that alter the vehicle’s performance or appearance.
What if I don’t have insurance?
If you’re pulled over in Michigan without proof of insurance, you could face up to $500 in fines — and even jail time. In some cases, you could have your license suspended for at least 30 days or until you’re able to prove you have proper coverage.
Uninsured drivers in Michigan
The state of Michigan requires that all of its drivers have insurance. However, it’s estimated that 21% of the state’s drivers are uninsured — that’s a lot higher than the 12.6% national average.
To protect yourself from damages in a car accident, consider adding uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance to your policy. You can learn more about this kind of coverage by reading our guide on the topic.
Driving laws in Michigan
While most of Michigan’s laws are similar to the laws in other states, there are a few traffic regulations you’ll want to make note of.
You can make right-hand turns at red lights, unless there’s additional signage telling you not to. However, you must come to a full stop before making the turn.
The default speed limit is 55mph for any two lane road or highway where other speed limits are not posted.
Car dealerships can’t sell any cars on Sundays, so most of them tend to be closed for business.
Couples are prohibited from intimate acts inside a parked vehicle, unless the vehicle is parked on their own property.
Texting while driving is considered a primary offense, and can land you with financial penalties and a ticket on your record.
Not all of Michigan’s unique laws are going to apply to you, but it’s good to be familiar with the rules of the road before you travel too far in the Great Lakes State.
Michigan’s blood alcohol limits
Like in all other states, normal drivers in Michigan can’t exceed a BAC of 0.08%, and commercial drivers can’t exceed 0.04%. Additionally, the state’s zero tolerance policy regarding drivers under 21 states that if an underage driver tests anything above a 0.0% BAC with a breathalyzer, they can lose their license for up to a year.
Can I get SR-22 insurance in Michigan?
Yes, you can. You might need this kind of coverage if you’ve been convicted of a DUI, if you’ve been caught driving without car insurance, or if you’ve accumulated too many violation points on your record. To learn more about this topic, check out our guide to SR-22 insurance.
What should I do after an accident in Michigan?
While you can hope that you’re never involved in an accident in Michigan, it’s best to prepare. No matter how minor the accident appears, confirm that everyone is safe before worrying about your insurance claim.
Safety first. Ensure that no one involved or near the accident has been injured. If everyone is OK and you don’t think it’s dangerous, try to move your vehicle to the side of the road. Consider calling the local police for help.
Exchange information. You’re legally required to provide your insurance and contact information to drivers involved in an accident. Don’t forget to take down their information too, including details like their vehicle’s make and model, their insurance policy and how to contact them.
Notify your insurance agent. Call your insurance company before you leave the scene. An agent will be able to guide you through more specific next steps and answer any questions you have.
Document the scene. Take pictures of the scene from multiple angles, focusing on any damages. Get the contact information of any potential witnesses.
When talking with others involved in the accident, take care not to admit fault — even if you feel it’s true. If you do, your car insurance company could refuse to pay your claim.
Who’s at fault after an accident?
Michigan is a no-fault state. That means that if you’re injured in a car accident, your insurance company will pay your medical bills (up to your policy’s limits), regardless of who caused it.
How to report an accident in Michigan
Michigan requires that you report accidents that result in damages that appear to be more $1,000. An investigating officer will write a report on all accidents involving a death or injury.
You’re not required to file a written accident report, though you must report it in person to the nearest police station or police officer.
There’s no penalty for not reporting an accident, as long as the driver stops and exchanges information with the other driver. Failure to do this could get you up to 15 years in jail or a fine of up to $10,000 — depending on how bad the accident is.
When should I get a lawyer after an accident?
If you plan to file a lawsuit against someone else involved in the crash, or if they plan to file a lawsuit against you, it might be beneficial to get legal representation before you go to court. It can also be helpful to consult with an attorney so they can guide you through whatever legal issues you’re facing.
If you’re being charged with a crime, having an attorney is almost essential. A lawyer can often help you to understand the legal process, as well as advise you on the best course of action, both inside and outside the courtroom.
Having the best insurance coverage you can afford protects you, your family and the drivers on your neighborhood roads, no matter what state you’re in. And especially in Michigan, this can be costly.
Researching your available providers, coverage options and price points can help you find the best insurance for your needs. To learn more about these topics, visit our comprehensive guide to car insurance.
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Common questions about car insurance in Michigan
Each car insurance provider and policy varies, but most policies are affected by factors like your driving record, age, where and how much you drive and your car’s year, make and model.
Every driver has a right to obtain car insurance in Michigan. If you’re denied car insurance based on your driving history or any other factor, get in touch with a licensed agent to ask about the Michigan Auto Insurance Placement Facility (MAIPF) which provides coverage to higher-risk drivers.
Insurers have the right to cancel car insurance policies at any time, although most providers reserve cancellation for drivers who file multiple claims in a short time or engage in risky driving behaviors that result in multiple tickets or DUI/DWIs.
Experts on the issue point to Michigan’s high PIP (personal injury protection) minimums, which protect you from large medical expenses for up to 2 years following an accident. But other factors are believed to contribute to the high cost as well, like Michigan’s long winters and frequent bouts of inclement weather. Icy and poorly maintained roads, high winds and winter storms all raise the risk of an accident, and this state has those things in spades.
On top of that, as many as one in five drivers on Michigan’s roads aren’t carrying proper car insurance coverage, which makes the state’s no-fault policies harder to use effectively, and puts a larger burden on insurers. The insurers then charge Michigan drivers in proportion to the raised risk factors, and the result is a higher overall insurance rate for everyone on the road.
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