Driving a vehicle is an expensive venture. You have to worry about car payments, gas expenses, and maintenance. Just as important, you absolutely, positively, need to maintain at least minimum auto insurance coverage. But if you don’t buy the right coverage from the right company, this can end up being the most painful of your driving expenses. For drivers in Michigan, here is your guide to the best car insurance rates.
In This Article
- Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Michigan
- Michigan Auto Insurance Requirements
- Average Cost of Coverage in Michigan
- Cheapest Car Insurance in Michigan
- Cost of Auto Insurance in Michigan
- Michigan’s Unique Car Insurance Rules
- Michigan-Sponsored Programs
- Top Car Insurance Companies in Michigan
- Customer Satisfaction
- Need More?
Whether you’re a new driver or have had the same auto insurance policy for decades, it’s smart to shop around. By taking a few minutes to obtain quotes and reevaluate your coverage options, you can not only reduce costs but also avoid the headache that comes with buying car insurance from the wrong company. You can also ensure that you have the exact coverage that meets your needs, long before you ever have to actually use it.
Here at Dough Roller, we have taken the time to research and evaluate your car insurance options in the state of Michigan. This guide will not only educate you on all things coverage–from the minimums you’re required to have in the state to the options you can/should add on–but also go over the providers that are most likely to match your needs. By the end of this article, you should have an excellent idea of how much you’ll pay, who has the best reliability and customer service ratings, and where to begin your next car insurance policy-buying process.
Compare Car Insurance Plans in Michigan
Drivers in Michigan have plenty of options for buying auto insurance. While your own premiums will vary wildly depending on your own coverage options, age, driving record, credit score, vehicle, and even your address, there are some companies that still stand out overall.
Based on our own research, consumer ratings, and quotes provided, here are our top picks for your next car insurance policy purchase:
- Best Overall Satisfaction: Auto Owners Insurance
- Best Customer Service: USAA
- Lowest Premiums: SECURA
- Great If You Have a Perfect Record: SECURA
- Best If You Have a Less-Than-Perfect Record: Nationwide
Buying auto insurance isn’t just about what you want and how much you can afford to spend. It’s also about what the state requires you to carry.
Each state has their own legal requirement for all drivers, which is called state-mandated minimum auto insurance coverage. These requirements include things like property damage liability coverage, bodily injury coverage, and even things like uninsured motorist coverage. If you don’t obtain at least these minimum levels of required coverage, you are considered an underinsured/uninsured driver… and therefore, you are driving illegally.
Typical Coverage Types
If those terms make your head spin, don’t worry: you’re not alone. It can be difficult to keep the different types of insurance coverage straight. Let’s talk about each one and what purpose they serve.
First, you have bodily injury liability coverage. This covers the medical bills and expenses related to someone’s personal injuries, stemming from an accident for which you are held liable. If more than one person is injured and you are at-fault, the total amount of bodily injury coverage that you carry is split between them.
Then, you have property damage liability coverage. This type of coverage pays for, as the name implies, damage to any property that is caused by an accident for which you’re found at-fault. This might include things like the repair of another vehicle, damage caused to buildings and structures, or even things like damaged signs.
Lastly, some states require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage is intended to protect you in the event that another driver is found at-fault, but either doesn’t have auto insurance or simply doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your expenses. Not all states require this type of coverage, but most auto insurance companies will at least offer it as an option to customers who want to be further protected.
Beyond this, you can choose to add auto insurance, such as collision or comprehensive coverage, which would cover your own expenses in the event that you’re the at-fault driver. However, these aren’t part of states’ legal minimum requirements, so we will talk about them later.
What Michigan Requires
Michigan is a bit unique when it comes to its auto insurance requirements. This is partly due to the fact that it’s a no-fault driving state.
We will talk more about no-fault later on, but the general idea is that your personal auto insurance will cover your own injuries, damages, and claims, regardless of who is responsible for the accident in question. This changes things in terms of how much coverage you want to choose, whether you can sue/be sued following an accident, and even how your auto insurance coverage is impacted by your health insurance choices.
In Michigan, drivers are required to carry personal injury protection coverage, or PIP. This portion of your no-fault auto insurance coverage will cover your injuries in the situation that you are injured in an accident, regardless of who was the driver responsible. It covers your medical expenses as well as the wages you would have were you not injured, for up to three years following the accident.
Your PIP coverage will pay your family–a spouse and/or dependents–up to three years’ worth of wages and fringe benefits if you are killed in an accident. (While this acts as a small life insurance policy of sorts, you will still likely want to purchase additional, separate life insurance coverage.) In certain cases, it will also cover up to $20 a day for other expenses that you can’t be expected to perform while injured, such as mowing the lawn or cleaning the house.
If you want to lower your PIP premiums, you can work to adjust your health insurance or disability coverage. This makes your health insurance coverage the primary payer for auto accident-related injuries or deaths, with your PIP insurance secondary. However, not all health insurance policies will cover injuries and deaths that are caused by car accidents, so be sure to ask before adjusting your coverage.
Next, we have property protection insurance, or PPI coverage. This type of Michigan auto insurance coverage will pay for property damage caused by your vehicle in the state of Michigan, automatically up to $1,000,000. This means damage that your vehicle does to other cars, structures, buildings, signs, etc. However, it’s important to note that this limit is not the same if you’re driving outside of the state; there, the limits for your own individual policy are often considerably lower (typically starting around $10,000). If you plan to drive in another state or frequently travel, you will want to look into your out-of-state PPI coverage limits and increase them.
The no-fault aspect to Michigan auto insurance means that you cannot be sued following a car accident except in a few special cases. In those cases, though, you will need to have additional auto insurance coverage to protect you. This is called residual liability insurance–bodily injury and property damage, or BI/PD coverage.
While you’re welcome to choose auto insurance in any amount, particularly if you want to protect yourself further, these are the bare minimum thresholds that you are required to purchase if you want to be a legal driver on the roads of Michigan.
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||This coverage will automatically pay all reasonable expenses, with no maximum limit.|
|Property Protection Insurance (PPI)||$1,000,000 (in-state drivers)|
|Bodily Injury / Property Damage (BD/PI) Residual Coverage|
|Death or injury of one person in any one accident||$20,000 minimum|
|Death or injury of 2+ people in any one accident||$40,000 minimum|
|Property Damage Liability||$10,000 minimum|
That gives you a lot to think about already, but remember, these are just the requirements. You can certainly buy more coverage, and even additional types of auto insurance protection.
For instance, you may want to purchase collision coverage, which will pay to repair your vehicle if you are responsible for an accident (usually with a deductible) or if your vehicle is damaged in a hit-and-run. There is also comprehensive coverage, to repair your vehicle if it’s damaged by fire, flood, an animal, vandalism, a falling tree, etc. Lastly, you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which we touched on above. This will pay if an uninsured motorist seriously injures or kills you/a member of your family, or if they don’t have adequate coverage to pay what they’re ordered to cover. This type of coverage doesn’t repair your vehicle.
These three coverage options are very useful and may provide you with the peace of mind that you need. However, they are not required in Michigan, and they will raise the total cost of your auto insurance premiums. So, be sure to weigh those options when building your policy, and remember that you’re only required to carry the limits mentioned above in order to be a legal driver within the state.
Failing to carry a valid auto insurance policy that provides at least the minimum liability coverage in the state of Michigan means that you are technically uninsured. And if you get behind the wheel without this coverage, you are an illegal driver… for which there are some steep penalties.
Drivers in Michigan always need to be prepared to provide proof of valid auto insurance, whether they are involved in an accident (regardless of fault) or are pulled over for a road violation. If you’re simply unable to provide this proof because you don’t have it on your person, you will usually be given a citation. This can be dropped (with or without minimal court expenses) by simply showing it to the court within a certain number of days. However, if you’re unable to provide proof of coverage because you don’t actually have valid coverage at the time, you’ll be in much more trouble. And the effects can be pretty far-reaching.
First, you will be ticketed and fined for being an uninsured/underinsured driver in the state. Your driver’s license could be suspended immediately, depending on the situation and the court, and you won’t be able to drive or renew it. If you need to renew, transfer, or replace your license plate during this time, you will also be banned from doing so until your insurance coverage is reinstated. There is a fine up to $500 for driving without state-mandated coverage, in addition to as much as a year of jail time.
However, while a citation and/or suspended license are inconvenient, they are far from the worst possible scenario when driving (or allowing your vehicle to be driven) without adequate auto insurance coverage.
If you are in an accident and don’t have a valid, state-minimum auto insurance policy, you will not be covered. You can be sued and held personally responsible for damages and injuries stemming from the accident, even if you aren’t at fault. After all, you technically never should have been on the road to begin with, since you’re not a legal driver without this mandated coverage.
Your own vehicle damages and personal injuries won’t be covered, regardless of fault. Medical expenses, loss of wages, property damages, loss of services, etc. will all be your responsibility and these can easily add up to tens (or hundreds!) of thousands of dollars following an accident. Plus, there are lawyer fees, court costs, and of course, even your citation and fines for being uninsured, all of which you’re responsible for covering.
Proof of Insurance
We mentioned carrying proof of insurance above, but let’s touch on what that means a bit more.
You will need to be able to provide evidence of valid, adequate auto insurance coverage when requested, any time you get behind the wheel. This is most often requested following a traffic stop or accident, but is also required if you go to renew your vehicle’s registration. Having valid coverage is important, sure, but you also need to be able to show it.
This can come in many forms. For some of us, we may prefer to carry an insurance card. These can be laminated cards that come from the auto insurance company or simply a print-out of a proof of insurance PDF that is sent following our policy’s purchase. Many insurance companies will also offer mobile apps, which allow you to pull up your proof of insurance through your smartphone. Just be cognizant of the fact that a dead phone battery or phone damaged in an accident may make access to this digital insurance card impossible.
Your insurance card will have multiple pieces of important information on it. It will have your name, as well as the name of other covered drivers in your home and the vehicles that the policy covers. It will have your policy number, your insurance company’s information, and also the valid dates of coverage. Some insurance cards will also include your address and your coverage limits.
Many states, Michigan included, will report lapsed and cancelled policies to the Department of Motor Vehicles. So interestingly enough, law enforcement officers will often know whether you have a valid policy before they even ask for your proof of insurance. This also means that you won’t be able to renew your license or vehicle’s registration once your coverage lapses, and the office will already know your insurance status before you walk through the door.
The main question most people have when shopping around for auto insurance is how much is it going to cost? It’s always interesting to know how much you can expect to spend, on average, in your state as well as how your state stacks up when compared to the rest of the country.
Of course, as with all insurance products, there are many variables at play when pricing out your own personal policy. However, let’s take a look at the average expenses when buying auto insurance in the state of Michigan.
Based on data provided by QuoteWizard, we find that the average cost for auto insurance policies in all of Michigan is currently $1,231.39, or $102.62 a month. This is quite a bit higher than the national average of $889.01 (or $74.08 a month). Keep in mind, though, that this takes all Michigan auto insurance policies into account, regardless of the level of coverage purchased.
You can also break this average down further, in order to compare the types of coverage that people in Michigan are buying, and how much they are paying. For example, the average annual cost to only buy state-minimum (liability) coverage is currently $795.32, or $66.28 a month. For those buying collision coverage, the annual average cost is $413.83. If you want comprehensive coverage, you can expect to pay somewhere around $154.85 a year.
|Total Cost Per Year||$1,231.39|
|Price Per Month||$102.62|
As mentioned, though, it’s important to keep in mind that your own costs could potentially vary, and by quite a bit. Your personal factors–including your driving record, your age, the type of car you drive, where you live within the state, and even the discounts for which you qualify–can have a significant impact on your own cost.
When shopping around for car insurance in any state, you usually want to know who can offer you the cheapest policy. While price isn’t the only factor (and you shouldn’t pick a company based on cost alone!), it’s usually a concern for almost everyone.
It’s hard to say who has the cheapest car insurance in Michigan, though, and that’s because the company that’s cheapest for you may not be cheapest for the person next to you. Rates, and the ways they are calculated, vary wildly from company to company, and what one insurer deems to be a priority factor might be a secondary factor to another.
We wanted to be able to give a rough answer to this question for you, though, so we did some serious digging into the providers in the state. We looked at the price tags on policies from major insurers in Michigan, using the same set of factors to see who was consistently more affordable. This way, you can at least get an idea of who is generally at the lower end of the pricing spectrum.
The sample driver we used was Chris. Chris is a 30-year-old single man, living in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Chris drives a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu sedan and has a clean driving record. If he were to start shopping around for a new auto insurance policy with state-minimum liability coverage, here’s what he could expect to find: (All quotes provided by TheZebra)
|Insurance Company||Annual Premium|
|Auto Club Group||$2,730|
Now, it’s important to note that Grand Blanc is one of the average-cost cities in the state, so the rates shown here reflect that. If Chris lived in Detroit instead, here’s how much he could expect to pay, and from which companies:
|Insurance Company||Annual Premium|
|Auto Club Group||$4,590|
Your own results will be different, due to your own personal factors and even your ZIP code. However, if you’re looking for auto insurance in Michigan, you can probably bet that SECURA and MEEMIC will be two of the cheaper options available.
So, how much does auto insurance cost if buying a policy in Michigan? There are tens, if not hundreds, of answers to that question.
The cost depends on a few variables, which (depending on your insurance company) include:
- Marital status
- Driving record
- Vehicle(s) covered
- Whether your vehicle is financed, leased, or paid in full
- ZIP code
- Whether you own or rent your home
- Your credit score
- Miles driven each year and the purpose of those miles (work commute, pleasure, etc.)
- How much coverage is desired
There would be no way for us to tell you how much your auto insurance will (or could) cost without knowing each of these individual factors. We already talked about how the average across the state is about $1,231, so you can use that as a starting point. However, it still might not give you much of an idea of what you will pay in the end.
So, we tried to narrow it down a bit more for you. We like to be helpful here at Dough Roller.
To do this, we compare four unique driver “profiles,” each representing a specific type of auto insurance policy shopper. We have quotes for each of them from all of the major companies, so that you can see which company is consistently more affordable for certain types of drivers. After all, the company that’s cheapest for an 18-year-old with a red sports car probably isn’t the same one that’s cheapest for your grandma.
Let’s take a look at the drivers.
Each of our sample drivers lives in Battle Creek, Michigan (ZIP code 49017), which is one of the cheapest auto insurance cities in the entire state. When looking at this info, just keep in mind that cities like Detroit, Dearborn, Southfield, Redford, and others will have rates that are much higher.
First at-bat is Little Timmy, 22. He’s the epitome of a high-risk driver: he’s a college student with a 2012 Chevy Impala (financed) and a lead foot, acquiring two speeding tickets in the last 18 months. He drives to work and class each day for a total of around 15,000 miles a year, and rents an apartment across town.
Next are John and Jane Smith, 42. These parents are pretty average with their mortgaged home, paid-off 2011 Chevy Equinox, and financed 2014 Toyota Sienna, driving about 16,000 miles a year. They’re college grads with great credit and good driving records, though Jane rear-ended someone two years ago.
Ah, Straight-Laced Sally; we all know one. She’s a 35-year-old college graduate with immaculate credit, an even cleaner driving record, who owns both her condo and her 2010 Toyota Camry (which she drives 10,000 miles a year).
Last but not least, we have Grandpa Joe, 65. He has good credit, owns his home and his 1998 Honda Civic outright, and has a spotless driving record. He doesn’t drive too much, only racking up about 8,000 miles a year.
We know: you probably aren’t a perfect match for any of these sample drivers. However, there is probably one that you can relate to more than the others, at least as far as your auto insurance is concerned. By seeing which companies are cheaper for them in Michigan, it can give you a good place to start in your own search.
Let’s see what each of these four drivers is looking at paying for state-minimum auto insurance coverage. (Quotes obtained by TheZebra)
|Little Timmy||John & Jane Smith||Straight-Laced Sally||Grandpa Joe|
|Hastings Mutual||not given||$90||$45||$45|
|Pioneer State Mutual||$145||$145||$72||$83|
|Farm Bureau||not given||$141||$72||$72|
|Auto Club Group||$882||$565||$133||$172|
|Wolverine mutual||not given||$205||$100||$78|
|Allstate||not given||$638||not given||$330|
|Liberty Mutual||not given||$231||$103||$61|
I always find it interesting to look at the breakdown between the different subjects. There is no one “cheapest company” across the board; instead, they are all impacted by accidents and citations, as well as age, in different ways.
Each state has its own unique laws regarding auto insurance, and Michigan is no different. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways that the Wolverine State stands out in its road rules.
Michigan is a no-fault state, which typically means that you can’t sue another driver if you’re involved in an accident. However, Michigan also has what’s called a mini-tort provision, meaning that you can sue another drive, but only under certain circumstances.
If you are responsible for an accident in Michigan and are 50% or more responsible for the crash, you can be sued in the following conditions:
- You cause an accident in the state in which someone else is killed or seriously injured
- You’re involved in an accident in the state with a non-resident driver, who is an occupant of a vehicle not registered in the state of Michigan
- You are involved in an accident outside of the state
This is useful if you are involved in an accident for which you are less than 50% responsible, but have to pay a deductible toward your own collision coverage. Under the mini-tort provision, you could sue the other driver (who is more than 50% at-fault) to recoup your deductible funds.
Credit Is a Factor
In Michigan, as in many other states, your credit history can (and often will) play a role in determining your auto insurance rates. And depending on the score you carry around, this may be either good or bad news.
Your credit history cannot be the reason that an auto insurer denies you coverage. However, they can take your creditworthiness into account when calculating your premiums. And this might mean that some credit-related slip-ups in the past could raise your price considerably.
Location Is, Too
Where you live is important… at least to your auto insurance company. It’s not just your city, though; in most cases, a mere move down the street to a new ZIP code could trigger a rate change.
As with your credit score, your location is a secondary factor when Michigan insurers go to calculate your premiums. However, your home address will play a factor in how much you pay for coverage. And the impact could be pretty significant.
If you have trouble obtaining, or paying for, the state-required minimum coverage in the state of Michigan, you may be eligible to shop through the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility, or MAIPF.
Shopping for coverage through MAIPF should be as a last resort only, reserved for those who are unable to buy coverage in the competitive market for whatever reason. So, if you’ve been convicted of a DWI, have other serious traffic violations, etc. and are denied an affordable quote from auto insurers in the state, MAIPF may be able to help.
Through MAIPF, you will be assigned to an agent who will help you find the coverage you need through common carriers on the market. You can request specific carriers for your issued policy, but this is not guaranteed.
To learn more about MAIPF and see if you are eligible to buy through the Facility, check out their website at MAIPF.org.
You might be curious, after all of this, as to which car insurance companies are the most popular in the Wolverine State. Which companies are your fellow Michiganians buying from and in what numbers?
Lucky for you, we have all of that information. Here are the top 10 insurers in Michigan according to the market share they hold in the state.
Of course, quality is more important than quantity. So, let’s take a look at how these companies measure up in customer satisfaction. Here, we have provided you with the scores from two of the leading ratings bureaus, A.M. Best and JD Power. This way, you can see not only who leads in customer numbers, but who actually makes those customers the happiest.
This company is the largest auto insurance shareholder in the state, with 18.7% of the market. Here’s what its customers think:
- A.M. Best: “A++” rating
- JD Power: #6 in the region with a 4-star overall satisfaction rating
Auto Club Insurance
The number two company accounts for 15.9% of the auto insurance market share in Michigan. This is actually a little surprising, though, when you see how they are rated in customer satisfaction and stability:
- A.M. Best: “B++” (Good) rating
- JD Power: #18 in the region with a 2-star rating in overall satisfaction
Bringing up third place is Progressive, with 12.3% of the market share in the state. Here is how they rank in customer service:
- A.M. Best: “A+” rating
- JD Power: #12 in the region with a 2-star overall satisfaction rating
Auto Owners Insurance
The first to drop below double-digits in market share, Auto Owners Insurance provides coverage to only 9.6% of the state. However, you may be surprised to learn that this company actually won the JD Power and Associate’s top award for auto carrier customer satisfaction.
- A.M. Best: “A++” (Superior) rating
- JD Power: #1 in the north central region (not just the state!) with a 5-star overall satisfaction rating
Allstate is the fifth-largest insurer with an 8.6% market share. They also have middle-of-the-road ratings to boot, it would seem:
- A.M. Best: “A+” rating
- JD Power: #10 with a 3-star overall satisfaction rating
Sixth-place goes to Hanover Insurance Company, who insures 5.8% of Michigan private drivers.
- A.M. Best: “A” (Excellent) rating
- JD Power: #14 in the region with a 2-star overall satisfaction rating
Next up, in seventh-place, we have Liberty Mutual Insurance. They cover 4.7% of the state’s drivers.
- A.M. Best: “A” rating
- JD Power: #16 in the state with a 2-star overall satisfaction rating
Michigan Farm Bureau
Insurer number eight only covers 4.6% of drivers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t provide quality service.
- A.M. Best: “A+” rating
- JD Power: #8 in the state with a 4-star overall satisfaction rating
If you know USAA, you know that they are renowned for providing exceptional customer service. Unfortunately, you also need to have a military service connection in order to be a customer, which is why this stellar company only covers 2.9% of the market in Michigan.
- A.M. Best: “A++” (Superior) rating
- JD Power: #2 in the region with a 5-star overall satisfaction rating
Last but not least, we have Farmers Group, with 2% of the market share.
- A.M. Best: “A” rating
- JD Power: #19 in the state with a 2-star overall satisfaction rating
If you want to learn more about being a legally insured driver in Michigan, you’re in luck. The state provides a wealth of free guides and useful educational materials on their website, which you can view here.