From Sault Ste. Marie to Shelby, Ann Arbor to Grand Rapids , Michigan has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from the Upper Peninsula across the Mackinac Bridge, along the shores of Lake Huron and into downtown Lansing .They’re used by more than 7 million licensed drivers, who each put in an average of 9,500 miles a year. Along the way, those drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every year, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Wolverine State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Michigan’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Michigan state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. Michigan is a no-fault state. That means your insurance will pay your injury claims up to a specified limit, regardless of who caused the accident. Under a no-fault system, you lose some of your rights to sue for damages.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Michigan drivers is:
$20,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$40,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$10,000 property damage liability
$20,000/$40,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury
Unlimited personal injury with a $0, $300 or $500 deductible
Uninsured motorist coverage must be offered but can be rejected in writing if you prefer not to buy it. Michigan does not require you to carry additional coverage such as personal liability or Collision and Comprehensive. However, If you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Michigan Auto Insurance
You are required by law to carry proof of Michigan car insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties. You can be fined between $200 and $500, sentenced to up to one year in jail, or both. You driver’s license can be suspended or revoked until you can show proof of insurance. If you are involved in an accident while driving without insurance, you will be held personally liable for all of any injured person’s accident-related medical bills and lost wages. You can be sued by the injured party for pain and suffering. Your license will be suspended until you have met the payment.
Michigan Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
Michigan also allows insurers to consider your credit rating to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest Michigan Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New Michigan Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Michigan. The following laws have recently been enacted in Michigan and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
Michigan bans all forms of text-based communication while driving. There is a ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers.
In 2012, Michigan eliminated a $150 state fee charged in two consecutive years for drivers caught operating without a valid license and a $200 fee charged in two consecutive years for drivers hit with a civil infraction for failing to have mandatory insurance coverage or produce proof.
In 2013, Michigan changed the blood alcohol content for a DUI from 0.08 to 0.10. However, a driver who is driving recklessly or irresponsibly can still be arrested for driving under the influence regardless of BOC.
Michigan law requires all passengers in a vehicle to wear a seat belt. Children below age 4 must be in an appropriate safety seat. Children between ages 4 and 8 or those shorter than 4’9” must use a restraint system appropriate for their height.
When an accident occurs, the driver must remain on the scene until the police. Leaving the scene without talking to the police is considered a hit-and-run situation in Michigan.