Auto insurance can be expensive. In fact, the average premium for auto insurance in Michigan is $2,345 per year if you opt for full coverage and $946 if you opt for minimum coverage.
While it’s required that all drivers in Michigan carry auto insurance, some may think that they can take a chance and not carry insurance to save some money. After all, even $946 may be more than some people can afford.
As a result, they may take the chance that they’ll never need to actually use their auto insurance and choose to save that money to put it to use elsewhere.
However, this is not a good idea, as there are serious penalties that can be assessed if you’re found to be driving without auto insurance in Michigan. In addition, you’ll be leaving yourself open to bad outcomes should you find yourself in a situation where you’d need the help of an auto insurance company.
Here are some of the things that can happen if you don’t have car insurance.
Auto Insurance Laws in Michigan
Every driver in Michigan is legally required to carry car insurance. Michigan is known as a no-fault state, meaning that all drivers must carry insurance that provides coverage for property damage (PD), property protection insurance (PPI), personal injury protection (PIP) and bodily injury (BI)
Michigan drivers have some choices when it comes to the levels of each of those coverages they have, which will either increase or decrease the monthly premiums based on the selections.
That being said, all drivers who either register a vehicle or plan to drive the registered vehicle of another own are required to carry car insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements under law.
Penalties for Not Having Car Insurance
People who are found to be driving without car insurance can face significant penalties in Michigan. This is typically discovered in one of two ways — either a driver gets pulled over by police, or they get into a car accident and are asked to present proof of coverage.
Michigan law states that driving without insurance is considered a misdemeanor offense. Those who are found to have broken this law can be punishable through a fine that can range between $200 and $500. They also may face up to a year in jail.
It’s possible that drivers found to not have car insurance could have their license suspended for up to 30 days, or until the time that they are able to provide proof that they got the required insurance. To reinstate their license after it is suspended, they will have to pay a $125 fee.
Drivers who break this law may also be restricted from registering a vehicle in the state until they are able to prove that they have car insurance. If you are ticketed for this offense, your ability to renew, replace or transfer your car registration will be revoked until you provide this proof of coverage.
The penalties for not having car insurance can also increase if you’re found to be in violation on multiple occasions.
What Happens if You Get into an Accident without Insurance?
The legal penalties for not having car insurance in Michigan are significant enough that they should scare most people away from trying to drive without insurance. If not, though, consider what could happen if you get into a car accident without insurance.
Michigan has very strict rules when it comes to the rights drivers have — or rather don’t have — if they are involved in a car accident without having proper car insurance.
For one, state law prohibits these drivers from getting any compensation related to a car accident, even if they were determined to not be at fault for the accident. What this means is that if you have suffered lost wages or injuries during a car accident, you will not be able to utilize any medical benefits provided under no-fault coverage.
If this happens, you’ll need to file claims with your health insurance company to see if they’ll help you pay for those costs. If they deny the costs, though, you will be forced to pay for them out of pocket, which can become quite expensive depending on the extent of your injuries.
In addition, if your car is damaged due to an accident, you will bear the full responsibility of repairing and/or replacing it if you don’t have car insurance. Michigan law also prohibits you from taking advantage of the mini-tort law that would provide up to $3,000 that would help cover damage to your vehicle.
If you injury someone else or damage someone else’s car without proper insurance, you could be personally responsible for paying their medical bills, lost wages and damage to their car. If you are sued, you will be completely responsible for all corresponding legal fees, putting any assets you have at complete risk.
Finally, if you are involved in an accident without car insurance, you may be required to purchase what’s known as SR-22 insurance. This certificate will prove in the future that you have the proper insurance coverage. While it’s not expensive to obtain this, it will ultimately result in your car insurance premium be much more expensive than typical.
Get Required Car Insurance from a Trusted Company
Not having car insurance as a driver in Michigan is simply not worth it. There are far too many risks to doing so that far outweigh the benefits. If you are looking to save money on car insurance, the best route is to work with a trusted and experienced car insurance company in Michigan — not foregoing car insurance altogether.
At Signature Insurance, we have been providing Michigan drivers with expert guidance in how to save money on their car insurance while getting the coverage they need. Contact us today to find out how we can help you, and get a free quote on your next car insurance policy.
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