Michigan has some of the most complicated auto insurance laws in the nation. Can Michiganders still save?

Drivers in the great state of Michigan share a lot of lovable quirks: saying “ope” every time they run into someone, explaining where they live by pointing to their palms…and tearing their hair out over car insurance complications.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, Michigan residents come in fourth in the nation for paying the most expensive auto insurance premiums in 2016. Our own data ranks Michigan as the most expensive state in 2019 for auto insurance at an average of $225 per month

So how do residents of the Great Lake State save? There are still many options, and our favorite is comparison shopping. Using Insurify can help you in your journey by pulling real, cheap quotes from top-rated insurance companies.

Upcoming Auto Insurance Changes in Michigan

Beginning July 1, 2020, Michigan drivers will have options when it comes to coverage levels for minimum liability insurance requirements. With the goal of lowering auto insurance costs for Michigan Drivers, Governor Whitmer passed legislation strengthening consumer protections for MI drivers. This improved no-fault system will allow drivers to choose their coverage levels, in turn, cutting costs. Starting this summer, drivers will have a choice in level of medical coverage attached to their auto insurance policy. Visit Michigan’s new auto insurance law website for more information.

Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Michigan

Here are the cheapest insurance companies in Michigan for the following user profile: a single, 30-year-old male with a clean driving record who drives a 2012 Honda Accord and pays a $1,000 deductible for the state’s minimum liability insurance. We averaged rates for the twenty most populous cities in Michigan.

Insurance CompanyQuotes
Liberty Mutual$171/month
Allstate$231/month
American Family$1139/month

Best Car Insurance Quotes in Michigan

The Insurify Composite Score is calculated by analyzing multiple factors that indicate the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Inputs to the score include financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings; Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys; mobile app reviews; and user-generated company reviews. The following are the top-rated companies that offer car insurance in Michigan. For the complete list, see Insurify’s best car insurance companies.

Insurance CompanyScoreQuotes
American Family88$1139/month
Allstate86$231/month
Liberty Mutual80$171/month

Most Popular Car Insurance Companies in Michigan

What makes an insurance company popular in Michigan? Two words: market share. Essentially, whichever insurance company wrote the most policies, gets the largest slice of the insurance pie. And by the way, the Michigan insurance pie worth well over $1 billion annually.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), these are the most popular car insurance companies in Michigan by market share:

  1. State Farm
  2. AAA
  3. Progressive
  4. Auto-Owners
  5. Allstate

Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Michigan by City

Where you live has one of the largest impacts on your premium’s bottom line. This is due to several factors including traffic patterns, road conditions, crime rates, claim rates, and weather. Knowing the rates of your town—or the town you’re planning to move—can help you gauge how fair a price you’re receiving on your premium.

Below are the cheapest quotes we could find for the five most populous cities in Michigan.

CityInsurance CompanyQuotes
DetroitLiberty Mutual$520/month
Grand RapidsLiberty Mutual $241/month
WarrenAllstate$304/month
Sterling HeightsLiberty Mutual$399/month
Ann ArborLiberty Mutual $217/month

Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Michigan by Profile

Here are the cheapest insurance companies in Michigan based on averaged sample rates for four driver profiles that included varied gender, age, driving history, credit score, marital status, prior insurance, higher education, employment, and military service.

Cheap Car Insurance for Young Michigan Drivers

Only the good die young and only the young pay high premiums without a spot on their driving records. It may seem unfair, but without a record to go on or much of a credit history to refer to, insurance companies rely on statistics alone to determine rates for young drivers. 

For young drivers stuck with expensive premiums, there are ways to lower rates with lucrative discounts. We recommend:

  • Completing an insurer-approved defensive driving course
  • Finding an insurer that offers a good student discount
  • Enroll in a telematics program to track good driving habits

The cheapest car insurance rates we found for young Michigan drivers are:

Insurance CompanyQuotes
Metropolitan$26/month
Hastings Mutual$31/month
Secura$34/month
Travelers $60/month
Auto Owners$76/month

Cheap Car Insurance for Michigan Drivers with a DUI

Few driving offenses raise car insurance rates more than a DUI. Court fees, fines, and potential job loss are peanuts compared to the increase for insurance premiums, which lasts at least two years for Michiganders. Plus, alcohol and drug-related driving offenses remain on driving records for life, meaning premiums can be affected for many years. 

If you’re struggling to keep insurance costs low after a DUI, there are options. Consider these cost-saving moves:

Here are the cheapest rates we could find for Michigan drivers with a DUI:

Insurance CompanyQuotes
Metropolitan$49/month
Secura$60/month
Pioneer State Mutual$90/month

Cheap Car Insurance for Michigan Drivers with Speeding Tickets

While speeding tickets may not seem like a big deal at the time, multiple tickets or tickets with excessive speeds can really hurt your premium’s bottom line. If you’ve been caught being a speed demon, to begin, slow down! Relearn your driving habits by enrolling in a telematics program that rewards good driving habits. And don’t forget to ask your agent about discounts!

Here are the lowest rates we could find for Michigan drivers with speeding tickets:

Insurance CompanyQuotes
Hastings Mutual$32/month
Metropolitan$33/month
Secura$59/month

Cheap Car Insurance for Michigan Drivers with an At-Fault Accident

Unfortunately, an at-fault accident is one of the most common ways drivers get hit with increased premiums. To add to this misfortune, insurance companies have a long memory, typically five years or more, when it comes to looking up accident history.

For drivers looking to save after an at-fault accident, there is hope. Many discount programs are still available even if the good-driver discount is out of reach. These include:

  • Paying in full
  • Telematics programs
  • Low-mileage rates

And don’t forget more radical alternatives: downsizing to a more affordable vehicle will help those who can’t find an affordable rate even with discounts. Radical moves aside, here are the lowest rates we could find for Michiganders with an at-fault accident:

Insurance CompanyQuotes
Hastings Mutual$35/month
Secura$38/month
Metropolitan$42/month

Michigan Auto Insurance FAQs

What’s the cheapest auto insurance in Michigan?

What’s cheapest for one Michigan driver is not necessarily cheapest for another. Every driver has a different combination of needs—family size and type of vehicle can greatly affect what components make up a policy—as well as discount eligibility, driving history, and hazard exposure. Because of these and many other differences, costs vary greatly—even between neighbors with similar vehicles. The best thing to do is to use comparison shopping to see your range of prices and options. Only then can you be certain you’re getting the best deal on your car insurance policy.

What’s the best auto insurance in Michigan?

Again, what’s best for one Michigan driver is not necessarily best for another. Because needs, priorities, and hazards, among other factors, can change in drastic variation from driver to driver, “best” is hard to name for a general population. For example, one driver may require an in-person agent while another needs an easy-to-use app. It’s likely that these drivers will choose different car insurance companies.  The best thing to do is to make a list of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and deal-breakers. With a prioritized list, comparison shopping is made a lot easier, especially when comparing two companies with similar pricing. 

Why is Michigan auto insurance so expensive?

This is a complicated question to answer. One of the main reasons Michigan car insurance costs so much is due to the state’s no-fault laws. Mandated unlimited medical coverage is part of every Personal Injury Protection plan, making it more likely for claimants to make claims. Basically, because there are almost no caps, no one shies away from using the claims system.  On top of that, hospitals don’t give reduced rates for care to car insurance companies. That might sound normal, but essentially all medical insurers make deals with hospitals to set rates for care. All of this creates an exaggerated risk for insurance companies compared to the rest of the nation.  The result is a strange catch-22 situation. First, because the risks are so high for insurance companies, fewer companies are willing to offer coverage in Michigan. This keeps competition low, and that includes competition on pricing.  And second, because the risks are high, the premiums are high, and people who can’t find an affordable premium forgo insurance altogether. This is why Michigan has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country, 20.3 percent according to the Insurance Information Institute.  When people without insurance cause an accident, it makes things more expensive for everyone. Insurance companies are on the hook due to uninsured motorist protection, and drivers without uninsured motorist coverage are left with medical bills and property damage. As these statistics stack up, the calculated risk of a geographical area increases. 

What is the Michigan auto insurance reform bill?

Beginning in July 2020, Michiganders ought to receive some auto insurance relief. The new bill signed in May 2019 will finally go into effect. What does the auto insurance reform bill do? The main idea is that it eliminates mandated unlimited medical coverage.  Michigan drivers can still opt-in, and pay more in premiums, but they are not required to carry so much coverage. This will, theoretically, bring down and slow the rising cost of Personal Injury Protection, which had risen to 42% of premium costs in the last three decades.  However, not all costs are likely to decrease. Liability coverage is actually likely to increase, as liability risks will also likely increase due to lowered no-fault limits. 

Michigan State Insurance Laws

State Minimum Car Insurance Coverage in Michigan

State insurance laws are like snowflakes, each unique and confusing in its own way. While the limits are fairly average, Michigan has some pretty extensive rules when it comes to auto insurance coverage

Minimum public liability/property damage or PLPD auto insurance include:

PIP insurance coverage does come with a choice of deductible: either $500, $300 or $0 depending on the driver’s preference. Beyond minimum insurance requirements, $20,000/$40,000 uninsured motorist protection for bodily injury can be rejected but must be rejected in writing if Michigan drivers wish to eliminate it from their policies. 

Do I need uninsured or underinsured motorist protection in Michigan?

If you have to ask if you need anything, the answer is almost always yes. While technically not required, uninsured and underinsured motorist protection can be vital to protecting you against devastating financial loss.

How likely are you to be in an accident with an uninsured driver? In Michigan, it’s more likely than most states. Michigan has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers at 20.3 percent according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). That means one in five drivers you pass every day is potentially driving without insurance. And if you’re hit by one, you’ll be waiting a long, long time for reimbursement that may never come. 

Uninsured motorist coverage is a good idea for everyone, but a must for anyone for whom replacing a vehicle would cause great financial distress. The same goes for drivers who often have several passengers, as underinsured protection provides added protection for bodily injury coverage. 

Is Michigan a no-fault state

Yes, Michigan is one of a handful of states that uses the no-fault system

What does no-fault mean? 

No-fault is used to control excessive litigation—it curtails people from suing each other after a car accident for medically related “pain and suffering.” Additionally, no-fault insurance makes it easier to get medical bills paid quickly as it does not require fault to be established before medical payments are made.

No-fault works by requiring most medical bills and related expenses to be paid from the car insurance company of the injured person, not the person who caused the accident. This is done through a rider called Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which covers several costs that may result due to an accident. These coverages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Funerary expenses
  • Loss of use
  • Child care, if made unable to care for children independently
  • Death benefit to surviving dependents
  • Housecare services

What are the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) limits in Michigan

Compared to other states that use PIP, Michigan’s required minimum coverage is quite extensive. Minimums include:

  • Unlimited medical expenses coverage, in conjunction with primary health insurance
  • Up to $5,189 monthly lost income
  • Replacement services up to $20 per day

Additionally, Property Protection Insurance (PPI) covers up to $1 million in property damage caused in an out-of-state claim.

Does Michigan have an insurance verification system?

No, Michigan does not use an insurance verification system. However, drivers do have the option to participate in an optional Electronic Insurance Verification (EIV) program. Why would drivers want to participate in EIV? 

Using the EIV program, drivers can spend less time at the DMV updating registration for their vehicles. EIV is also a requirement for using online service or self-service stations. According to the Secretary of State’s office, 80 percent of Michigan drivers opt-in to the EIV program.

What’s the penalty for driving without insurance in Michigan?

While Michiganders might not be sought out for proof of insurance, proof must be presented to renew vehicle registrations. It also needs to be presented at traffic stops. Failure to do either, and failure to carry insurance at all, may result in a plethora of expensive penalties:

  • “Driver Responsibility Fee” of $200 paid annually for two years for driving without proof of insurance
  • “Driver Responsibility Fee” of $500 paid annually for two years for driving without insurance
  • License suspension up to 30 days
  • Reinstatement fee for $25 for driving without proof of insurance and $125 for driving without insurance
  • Up to one year of jail time

Which companies offer SR-22 insurance in Michigan

For some Michigan drivers, SR-22 or proof of insurance forms are required. This document is filed on behalf of the driver directly from the insurance company. Failure to comply with SR-22 requirements can cause a lot of problems and expenses. 

While SR-22 insurance is typically expensive, costs can be kept low through discount programs, downsizing vehicle or vehicle use, and, our favorite, comparison shopping. 

Companies that offer SR-22 insurance in Michigan include Ameriprise, Dairyland, Esurance, Everest National, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Farmers, Frankenmuth, GEICO, The General, National General, Grange, Merchants, Progressive, Safeco, and West Bend Mutual. 

What are the child passenger laws in Michigan?

Children younger than four years of age are required to travel in a car seat in the back seat of a vehicle. If the space in the vehicle does not allow enough room for all children under four to ride in the backseat, then the front seat is permitted. If the front seat passenger is riding in a rear-facing car seat, the passenger airbag must be turned off. 

Children four to eight years old must use a booster seat. Children over the age of eight (or over 4’9” tall) do not need a booster seat, but must use a safety belt in the backseat until the age of 15. Passengers 15 and older are required to wear a safety belt only when in the front seat. However, we recommend that all passengers wear safety belts at all times when riding in a motor vehicle. 

What are the penalties for driving without a seatbelt in Michigan?

For drivers and front-seat passengers riding without a seatbelt, the fine is $65. The same is true for not wearing a seatbelt correctly, for example putting the cross-body strap behind your back. However, failure to use safety restraints for a child passenger results in a $105 fine. Neither fine comes with points assessed on the driver’s license.

Can I use a digital insurance card in Michigan?

Yes, you can use an electronic device to provide proof of insurance in Michigan. However, if that electronic device breaks or the battery dies, you’ll be left without the ability to provide that proof—and on the hook for more than $400 of fines.

It’s always a good idea to keep an up-to-date hard copy of your insurance card or declarations page in your glovebox. This way, you’ll always be able to provide proof if and when you have to.

Michigan DMV Information

If you’re moving to Michigan, there are a few things you need to know about changing your license and registration. 

First, there is no grace period for changing your license and registration. New residents must apply for a new license immediately by visiting a Secretary of State branch office. There they can also change the vehicle title and register the vehicle. 

Once residency is established and all necessary documents are changed, residents can do most DMV-related busywork online. Using the cleverly named SOS system, Michigan drivers can schedule appointments, locate a self-service station, renew plates and licenses, and make a change of address.

Conclusion

Is what’s cheapest for the goose the cheapest for the Michi-gander?

Puns aside, it’s no small feat to find affordable car insurance in Michigan. Even so, there is hope that new reforms will help lower costs statewide. Until then, there are ways to lower car insurance costs for Michigan drivers: exhaust discount programs, be strategic about the car you choose to purchase, and comparison shop as often as you can. 

Insurify can certainly help you get quick car insurance quotes online, even in the tough state of Michigan. Check out our insurance company review pages here to learn what customers think of insurance companies

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Updated February 12, 2020

J.J. Starr is a financial copywriter and enjoys helping readers find the information they need. In addition to her background in banking and financial advising, she is also a poet with an MFA from New York University. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. You can learn more at jjstarrwrites.com.