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Published: February 17, 2022Last updated: August 16, 2022

Guide to Car Insurance in Michigan

Michigan’s average car insurance costs are the second most expensive in the U.S.

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Michigan has some of the most extensive car insurance requirements in the U.S. For example, for accidents that take place in-state, drivers in Michigan are required to have $1 million of property damage coverage, more than 55 times the national average. It’s no surprise, then, that Michigan is among the top two when it comes to the average cost of car insurance.

In this article, we’ll go over all of the information you need to know about car insurance and driving in Michigan, from minimum coverage insurance laws to teen driving laws.

Minimum Coverage in Michigan

The minimum coverage in Michigan includes bodily injury coverage, property damage coverage, and personal injury protection.

Coverage Bodily injury per person Bodily injury for everyone involved in the accident Property damage per accident Personal injury protection (PIP) per person
Minimum limits in Michigan $50,000 $100,000 $1 million within Michigan or $10,000 outside of Michigan Michigan will pay all necessary medical expenses and lost wages, plus $20 per day in replacement services in some cases
National average $25,000 $50,000 $18,000 $13,000
Percent higher than the national average 50% -50% 98% n/a

Note that, unlike medical payments coverage, PIP also includes reimbursements for childcare and lost wages. Michigan has the most generous PIP coverage we’ve ever seen, with no limit whatsoever.

More Coverages and Limits

While Michigan’s minimum coverage covers the basics, we’d also add on uninsured motorist coverage to cover accidents with people driving without insurance, plus collision and comprehensive coverage.

While collision coverage covers your damages when an accident was your fault or if you hit a pothole, comprehensive coverage applies to damages other than collisions: natural disasters (hail, flooding, sinkholes, etc.) vandalism, and motor vehicle theft, to name a few.

See below for our recommended liability limits.

Type of coverage Recommended limit minimum
Bodily injury $500,000
Property damage $500,000
Personal injury protection Equal to bodily injury liability
Uninsured motorist Equal to bodily injury liability
Comprehensive Actual market value of car
Collision Actual market value of car

If you can’t make these limits, get as much insurance as you can afford. While you might pay more in premiums, if you have a claim, you’ll get more coverage later.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Michigan?

The cost of car insurance in Michigan has many people asking “why is car insurance in Michigan so expensive?”. And it’s undeniable that car insurance in Michigan isn’t cheap.

In 2019, the most recent year national data was collected, people in Michigan spent an average of $1,495.94 per year on car insurance, 28 percent higher than the national average of $1,070.47. Only Louisiana had higher insurance rates than Michigan1.

That being said, this number is just the average cost of insurance; not necessarily what you’ll pay for car insurance. The true range falls anywhere from $948 all the way up to over $10,000 for teen drivers. Many factors affect car insurance rates, so the only way you can truly know your price is to get an online quote.

Car Insurance Companies in Michigan

If you’re shopping for auto insurance in Michigan, check out the available providers:

  • Allstate
  • Auto-Owners
  • Farmers
  • GEICO
  • Hanover
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Meemic
  • Progressive
  • State Farm
  • Travelers
  • USAA

How to Save on Car Insurance in Michigan

Although Michigan comes runner-up when it comes to highest car insurance costs, there are ways you can save.

  1. Use discounts: It’s a fact that every auto insurance provider has discounts. Ask your agent how you can save money on car insurance. For example, you could save money if you’re a federal employee or a student with good grades, depending on the company.
  2. Use bundles: Getting your insurance policies under one metaphorical roof will save you money, so if you also have renter’s, homeowner’s, or life insurance, bundle them under one provider with your car insurance.
  3. Increase the size of your deductible: One of the deductible FAQs we get is, will a higher deductible mean lower premiums? The answer is yes, but keep in mind that you need to be able to afford your deductible. If you can’t, your coverage won’t kick in, making your car insurance a moot point.
  4. Drop coverages: Although we recommend getting full coverage car insurance, you may be able to drop comprehensive coverage on an older car or collision coverage on a car in storage, for example.
  5. Decrease the size of your limits: Lastly, lowering your limits will also lower your premiums but again, look past the short-term. If the injuries or damages exceed your limit, you’ll be responsible for those costs out-of-pocket.

Driving Without Insurance Consequences

In Michigan, it’s not only necessary to have insurance, but also proof of insurance, be it physical or digital. If you’re caught driving without insurance, you could face:

  • A $200 to $500 fine
  • Imprisonment of up to a year
  • A license suspension of 30 days or whenever you submit proof of insurance, whichever is later
  • A $25 fee to reinstate your license

Michigan State Laws

Let’s dive deeper into the car insurance and driving laws in the Great Lakes state.

No-Fault State

Michigan is a no-fault state, and a unique one at that. While in all no-fault states, each party pays for its own medical expenses, in Michigan, the state covers them entirely, along with lost wages and $20 daily in replacement services, in some cases. That means that if you get into a car accident and have bodily injuries, the state will always pay for them, even if the accident was your fault.

That being said, the at-fault party will still be responsible for the other party’s property damage, and the accident victim can still sue the perpetrator for a recovery (given they meet the serious injury threshold, detailed below). The state of Michigan has modified comparative negligence laws. In English, that means that the victim can only recover money if they’re less than 50 percent at fault2.

Uninsured Motorists

Aside from having the second highest car insurance prices in the country, Michigan also comes in second for the highest percentage of uninsured motorists (the two are definitely connected). A whopping 26 percent of Michigan drivers are uninsured, the Insurance Research Council estimated last in 20193. So where does the state land regarding uninsured motorist coverage?

While Michigan requires that insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage, it’s not a requirement. Plus, Michigan is an “unstacked” state, which means that the number of cars on your policy won’t affect your uninsured motorist limits. In other words, you can’t “stack” coverage.

DUIs

Michigan takes DUIs seriously, as they’ll stay on your record for seven years. For the first offense, you’ll get a 30 to 180-day license suspension, with limited driving privileges after 45 days. If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.17 or higher or if you have repeat convictions, you’ll need to install a DUI interlock device for a year.

Seat Belts

Michigan has a mandatory seat belt law for those over the age of 16 and in the front seat. The law is under primary enforcement, so the police can pull you over for not wearing a seat belt solely.

Distracted Driving

In Michigan, you can make calls on a handheld electronic device unless you’re a:

  • Truck driver
  • School bus driver
  • Teen driver with either a level one or two graduated licensing status

However, texting and driving is illegal for all drivers, as it’s one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. These laws, like the seat belt laws, are under primary enforcement. The fines for illegal cell phone usage include:

  • First offense: $100 fine, two points for school or commercial drivers
  • Second offense: $200 fine, two points for school or commercial drivers<

Teen Driving

There’s a reason that car insurance costs for teens are so high. With little driving experience, teens are more likely to get into accidents and thus, have covered claims. Michigan takes a cautionary stance when it comes to teen drivers. All first-time, licensed drivers enter their driving experience on probation for the first three years.

If they get into any crashes or receive any tickets, they’ll have to face a driver assessment reexamination, which could lead to a license suspension and/or restriction. And if those tickets or at-fault accidents fall into the last 10 months of probation, the probation will be extended for another 10 months, which must be violation-free.

Fines for teens caught using phones while driving are higher than the rest of the population. If you’re caught using a phone while driving, you could pay up to $295 in fines. However, there are a few exceptions to take note of:

  • Reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, or serious road hazard
  • Reporting a situation in which you think your personal safety is in jeopardy
  • Reporting a crime or potential crime against yourself or another person

In the same vein, teens have stricter DUI penalties, as well. Michigan has a zero tolerance law when it comes to consuming alcohol and drinking. For the first offense, you could receive:

  • A fine of up to $250
  • 360 hours of community service
  • A restricted license for 30 days
  • Four points
  • A $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two years

Penalties only get more severe for the second and subsequent offenses. Even possessing alcoholic beverages in your car could land you in trouble, even if they’re not opened.

Penalties for having alcohol in your car for teens in Michigan First Second Third
Maximum fine $100 $200 $500
License suspension in days 0 30 60
License restriction in days 0 60 305
Community service Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes
Alcohol screening Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes

Statutes of Limitations for Claims

If you have a personal injury or property damage claim, you must file it in three years, the statute of limitations for claims in Michigan.

Cancellation and Nonrenewal Notifications

Companies can’t end your coverage without notifying you first, whether it’s a cancellation or a nonrenewal.

Cancellation vs. nonrenewal notification law in Michigan Cancellations due to fraud, misrepresentation, driver’s license suspension, or driver’s license revocation Cancellations due to nonpayment Nonrenewals
Number of days the company has to notify you before your policy expires 30 10 20

Make sure you get a new policy before your old policy ends to avoid a lapse in coverage.

Self Insurance

Do you have more than 25 vehicles? If so, you may be able to self-insure your cars, but it’s at the discretion of the insurance commissioner, according to the Michigan Legislature.

Inspections

Unless you’re insuring a salvage vehicle, Michigan doesn’t require annual inspections or emissions tests. That being said, to get your salvage vehicle inspected, use the below contact information:

  • URL: https://dsvsesvc.sos.state.mi.us/TAP/_/#1
  • Phone number: 1-888-767-6424

Proof of Financial Responsibility

What happens if you don’t have insurance and you get into an at-fault accident? Michigan doesn’t require SR-22s or FR-44s, but rather, you’ll have to get a special license that demonstrates financial responsibility. Here’s everything you need to know about the Financial-Responsibility Restricted Drivers License, straight from the Office of the Secretary of the State:

  • It doesn’t include a photo, unlike regular driver’s licenses.
  • It specifies that you can drive in one vehicle only.
  • You’ll need to file a partial-payment agreement. In this document, you’ll agree to pay a judgment, and both you and the injured party will sign it.
  • You’ll also need to file proof of insurance by either mailing it to:

Michigan Department of State Driver Record Activity Unit
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, Michigan 48918-0001
Or, call 517-636-6406.

Defensive Driving Courses

Have you been ordered to take a defensive driving course in Michigan? You can find one here: https://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-72297_30536-230768–,00.html. Just note that it has to be four hours at a minimum.

Thresholds to Sue

No-fault accident victims have the right to sue, but in Michigan, only if they have either a serious impairment of a bodily function or a serious and permanent disfigurement.

NOTE

In Michigan, there’s no monetary threshold for personal injury lawsuits.

Accident Report Requirements

While you don’t technically need a police report to file a claim, if you got into an accident that involved an injury, death, or property damage worth over $1,000, you need to file a police report immediately. If you don’t, you could face a maximum of 90 days in jail, a maximum $100 fine, or both.

In any accident, we recommend filing a police report, regardless of if it’s legally necessary. Police reports provide great evidence of the accident, so make sure to get a copy for your records.

Credit Scores and Gender Discrimination Bans

Did you know that in 43 states, men pay more for car insurance than women? How about the fact that 46 states give higher rates to those with bad credit? Fortunately, Michigan is one of the four states that bans auto insurance companies from determining price on the basis of gender or credit scores along with Massachusetts, California, and Hawaii. If you’re a male with bad credit living in Michigan, this information should come as a pleasant surprise.

Total Loss Threshold

Most people think of a “total loss” as a situation in which a car’s repairs cost more than its actual market value (AMV). However, each state has a different total loss threshold, and it’s not always 100 percent of the AMV. In Michigan, it’s only 75 percent. So if you have a $10,000 car with $8,500 worth of covered damages, it would be declared a total loss and you could be reimbursed for your car’s AMV.

Contact Information

See below for the state’s car and insurance-related contact information.

DMV Contact Information

Here’s how to contact the Michigan DMV:

  • URL: https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1640_14837-380898–,00.html
  • Find a self-service station: https://miselfservicestation.com/
  • Mailing address:
    • Michigan Department of State
      Renewal by Mail
      7064 Crowner Dr.
      Lansing, MI 48980-0001
  • Email: https://mdossupport.happyfox.com/new/

FYI

Before you register your car in Michigan, you’ll need to have proof of in-state insurance.

How to Get a Duplicate Car Title

To get another copy of your car’s ownership papers by mail:

  1. Print out this form: https://dsvsesvc.sos.state.mi.us/TAP/_/#1.
  2. If you don’t have a printer, call 517-636-5872 and have them send you the form.
  3. Put $15 into an envelope.
  4. Send the form and the fee to:
    • Michigan Department of State
      Special Services Branch
      7064 Crowner Drive
      Lansing, MI 4891

To get a duplicate car title online:

  1. Visit the following website: https://dsvsesvc.sos.state.mi.us/TAP/_/#1.
  2. Fill out the form.
  3. Pay the $15 fee.

Note that you won’t need a notary to get a duplicate car title unless you’re filling out the form for someone else, i.e you are not the owner of said car.

Michigan Insurance Department Contact Information

Finally, here’s how to contact Michigan’s Insurance Department:

  • Mailing address:
    • 530 West Allegan Street
      Lansing Michigan 48933
  • Phone number: 517-284-8800
  • URL: https://www.michigan.gov/difs/

Car Repairs Cost

Surprisingly given Michigan’s high car insurance costs, car repairs cost nine percent less than the national average at $350.77 for parts and labor. That divides into $202.30 for parts and $148.47 for labor, if you were wondering.

Motor Vehicle Theft and Traffic Fatalities

Rates of car theft and the number of traffic fatalities are two of the many factors that impact insurance costs. While Michigan has fewer car thefts than the national average, traffic fatalities were higher, unfortunately.

Car Theft

According to 2020 FBI data, Michigan had 185 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 inhabitants, 33 percent less than the rest of the U.S. This number isn’t surprising, as the Midwest in general is the safest area for car theft. Compared to the rest of the U.S., the Midwest region has 54 percent fewer car thefts.

That being said, cities like Kalamazoo and South Bend have more car thefts compared to the rest of the state. Cities have more car thefts than rural and suburban areas in general, so these increased crime rates aren’t surprising.

Name of Metropolitan Statistical Area Rate of motor vehicle theft by 100,000 inhabitants in 2020
Kalamazoo-Portage, MI 371
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI 337
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 252
Battle Creek, MI 240
Lansing-East Lansing, MI 199
Niles, MI 191
Flint, MI 184
Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI 177
Jackson, MI 175
Bay City, MI 135
Muskegon, MI 132
Monroe, MI 120
Ann Arbor, MI 95
Saginaw, MI 92
Midland, MI 46

Traffic Fatalities

While as a whole, Michigan has few car thefts, it didn’t fare as well when it came to traffic fatalities, with 985 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2019. These rates are 28 percent higher than the rest of the nation.

Recap

Still curious about auto insurance in Michigan? Read our auto insurance FAQs below for more information on driving in the Great Lakes state.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve answered all of your questions about Michigan car insurance below.

According to the latest 2019 data from the National Association of Insurance Commission, you might pay around $1,495.94 annually for car insurance in Michigan, or anywhere from $948 to $10,300 for first-time drivers.

The minimum car insurance in Michigan is:

  • Bodily injury liability: $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $1 million for accidents that occur within Michigan or $10,000 for accidents that occur outside of Michigan
  • Personal injury protection: No minimum, can coordinate with your health insurance or disability insurance policy

For a new driver, car insurance costs around $10,300 annually, one of the highest costs in the nation.

The city in Michigan with the cheapest car insurance is Kalamazoo. Runners-up include Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Lansing, and Ann Arbor.

Of course, the average rate will differ based on your driving record, amount of liability insurance, and other coverage options. For example, someone with a speeding ticket could pay more for at-fault insurance than someone with clean driving records. The lower the risk, the more affordable insurance options one will have.

Citations

  1. 2018/2019 Auto Insurance Database Report. NAIC. (2022).
    https://content.naic.org/sites/default/files/publication-aut-pb-auto-insurance-database.pdf

  2. Michigan’s Auto Insurance Law Has Changed. DIFS.
    https://www.michigan.gov/documents/difs/Auto_Insurance_Guide_448003_7.pdf

  3. One in Eight Drivers Uninsured. The Institutes. (2021, Mar 22).
    https://www.insurance-research.org/sites/default/files/downloads/UM%20NR%20032221.pdf