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Michigan “No Fault” Auto Insurance | Car Insurance in Michigan

As a resident of Michigan all of my life except for a three year stint in Europe, I am used to the no-fault Michigan auto insurance policies in this state.  Michigan car insurance laws can be baffling in nature and difficult to comprehend if you are new to the system. 


In Michigan you don’t have the choice of not having a no-fault automobile insurance policy.  It has been this way for many years, and for most people that live in Michigan, we have grown accustomed to the laws of this state and the requirements that the Michigan car insurance providers and the insured like us, must deal with.  Because Michigan has such a highly comprehensive no-fault auto insurance system, which by the way is second to none in our great nation, has some major implications for you if you are planning to have your car insured in Michigan.


So what does all this mean to you?  It’s really quite simple and if your vehicle has been insured in the state of Michigan, you and your family, should you be involved in an automobile or car accident will be covered.  You will be insured with almost unlimited doctor, hospital, and rehabilitation benefits if you are injured in a car accident.  You will also be provided wage loss benefits, assuming you are working at the time of the auto accident and can’t work because of it, and up to $20 per day, which covers or can be used for replacement services up to three years.  This applies to you and your family.  If for any reason you are injured or debilitated because of an auto accident, regardless of fault, you will be covered.


A no-fault car insurance policy must be purchased, and kept current on any vehicle belonging to someone living in Michigan. The penalties driving without car insurance are stiff as with any state.  There are three elements to the no-fault policy and these are:


Personal Injury Protection (PIP) - Personal injury protection (PIP), which is the part of the policy that pays all of the required medical costs should you be hurt or injured in a car accident.


Property Protection (PPI) – The Property protection (PPI) portion of the policy pays for any damage your auto may have done in Michigan, to someone else’s property and it covers up to $1 million dollars.


Residual Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Insurance (BI/PD) - Residual bodily injury and property damage liability (BI/PD),  pays for any incurred defense costs for you and also for any damages that you are found to be responsible for as related to an or was the result of an car accident.  This covers you up to the limit of the policy. The liability insurance minimums are listed as 20/40/10, which means that it pays up to $20,000 if someone is hurt or killed in an accident.  It also covers up to $40,000 for each individual case, should there be several people hurt or killed in an accident.  Lastly, there is also up to $10,000, which is for property damage in another state, should you have an accident while “out of town”.  These are the minimum limits and you can always purchase additional coverage with higher limits, should you desire to do so.


Should you decide to go with a “basic no-fault policy”, it will not cover the cost to repair or replace your car if it is damaged, regardless of accident responsibility. This means that you must decide whether your automobile has enough value to carry the extra cost of this insurance.  All of the car insurance companies in Michigan, offer optional collision or comprehensive coverage if you want to have your vehicle covered for damages and protection from theft.  You typically can make a “mini tort claim” which is a maximum of $500 against the other drivers auto insurance company, should you have only “basic” coverage and the accident wasn’t your fault.


In conclusion, if you have not grown up in Michigan with a no-fault insurance system, you may be in for a rude awakening should you move to the state.  As with any auto insurance system, there are pros and cons, but if you are a good and safe driver, the costs are not any more prohibitive than anywhere else.  However, the uninsured, like any else, can be a troublesome “stick in the wheel” for this system like any where else.  No-fault systems do work, but they take some getting used to.






Written by: WM8C, November 3rd, 2006.  Not for use without written permission


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