Like most states, Michigan requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of car insurance to operate a motor vehicle on state roadways. If you get caught driving without insurance in Michigan, you can face some pretty severe penalties, both criminally and civilly.
Michigan Insurance Requirements
According to the Zebra, Michigan law mandates that all drivers carry liability coverage and personal injury protection (PIP). To meet Michigan’s minimum liability requirements, Michigan drivers should include the following in their insurance policies:
- Bodily Injury Liability: $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
- Property Damage Liability: $10,000 per accident
As for PIP, Michigan drivers can choose a coverage amount that fits within their budget. The Zebra reports that drivers can select one of the following:
- Unlimited PIP coverage
- $500,000 per person
- $250,000 per person
- $50,000 per person (only available to drivers who are also Medicaid recipients)
- Opt-Out (only available to drivers who have health insurance that covers car accident injuries)
Finally, Michigan drivers must purchase property protection insurance, which provides up to $1 million in coverage to pay for costs if you damage another Michigan resident’s property with your vehicle.
How Much Do Michigan Drivers Pay for Car Insurance?
The Zebra notes that Michigan drivers pay, on average, $3096 a year for car insurance. That’s double the national average. Michigan drivers pay so much more than drivers in other parts of the country because of the state’s PIP and property protection requirements.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance In Michigan?
According to WalletHub, not only does Michigan law require you to carry a minimum amount of insurance, but it also requires you to carry proof of insurance in your vehicle at all times. If you have insurance, but you’re unable to provide proof at the request of a law enforcement officer, you’ll receive an “administrative violation” citation. You’ll have to pay a mandatory fee of $25 and possibly additional fines if this isn’t your first citation. Typically, the court will dismiss the citation if you provide proof of insurance within 14 days.
The penalties for driving without insurance, which is a misdemeanor, are much more severe. If you operate a motor vehicle on state roadways and you don’t have car insurance, you could face the following:
- Driver’s license and registration suspension.
- Up to one year in jail.
- Fines and fees up to $500.
WalletHub notes that if you’re in an accident and you don’t have insurance, you:
- will be cited for all penalties for driving without insurance, even if you’re not at fault.
- will have to pay for all damages to the other driver’s car and their medical care if you are at fault.
- could face lawsuits from the other driver and have your wages garnished if the other driver wins the suit.
According to Michigan Auto Law, you’ll also face the following consequences if you’re in an accident and don’t have car insurance:
- If the other driver is at fault, Michigan law prevents you from suing them for damages if you don’t have car insurance.
- You’ll have to pay for your medical expenses out of pocket.
- You won’t be reimbursed for lost wages if you miss work because of injuries.
Keep in mind that if you’re cited for driving without insurance, and you try to purchase a policy, your provider will charge you much more for a policy than a driver with continuous coverage. You may end up having to buy car insurance from a company that specializes in high-risk drivers.
Affordable Car Insurance Options for Michigan Drivers
The Zebra points out that it’s much better to purchase an insurance policy than to face criminal charges, costly fines, and expensive lawsuits. In a survey of leading insurance companies, they found that the following are the most affordable options, on average, for Michigan drivers:
- Safeco: $368 a year
- MetLife: $1337 a year
- USAA: $1477 a year
- Chubb: $1704 a year
- MEEMIC: $2004 a year
- Pioneer State Mutual: $2149 a year
- Progressive: $2281 a year
- State Farm: $3475 a year
- Farmers: $4111 a year
- Hanover: $5421 a year
How to Save Money on Car Insurance
- Ask for discounts. If you haven’t let your car insurance lapse, you can qualify for several discounts. Consider bundling your home owner’s policy with your car insurance policy, if you haven’t already. You can also save money by adding all of your household’s vehicles to the same policy. Your teen driver can qualify for a good student discount if they maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher. You can qualify for a safe driver discount if you’re willing to use a telematics device or smartphone app to track your driving habits.
- Evaluate your vehicle needs. If you’re driving a luxury car, you’re paying more for car insurance than someone driving an economy car. Consider downgrading to a less expensive vehicle if you can’t afford your current coverage.
- Evaluate your coverage needs. If you’re already driving an economy car or an older vehicle, you might have more insurance coverage than you actually need. Consider dropping your collision and comprehensive coverage if you can afford to pay for repairs out of pocket.
- Raise your deductibles. If you decide to keep your collision and comprehensive coverage, you can raise your deductibles, and your provider will lower your premiums. Just make sure that you can afford to pay a higher deductible if you have to file a claim.
As you can see, you can face some severe penalties for driving without insurance in Michigan. However, if you take the time to shop around for quotes and research discounts, you don’t have to risk it. You can get excellent coverage at a reasonable price.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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