Michigan Car Insurance

Drivers in and around Motor City know the importance of a good car and a good insurance policy. Many Michigan residents have faithfully kept their Detroit iron on the road for hundreds of thousands of miles, and it’s not through carelessness and ignorance that they’ve gotten this far. While changing your oil and keeping your eyes on the road is a good start, a good insurance policy and an appreciation for how it works is essential to keeping yourself, your passengers, and your property safe on the road.

The Simple Dollar has put together a wealth of information and resources to help Michigan drivers keep things in order, so read on to learn more about insurance and driving in the Great Lakes State.




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Stats in Your State

It can be hard to know what factors into your auto insurance premium, so The Simple Dollar has compiled a number of relevant stats and data to illustrate the elements that affect your monthly insurance payment. Read on for a visualization of some of the basic factors that have an impact on your rates.

Auto Insurance Premiums

With all of its cars, roads, and nasty weather, it’s a surprise Michigan’s car insurance rates aren’t triple the national average. Nonetheless, Michigan still has higher average premiums than the U.S. average. By 2004, Michigan’s average annual auto premiums reached nearly $1,000. In the latter part of the decade, insurance rates had leveled off to roughly $900 per year, nearly $100 above the national average.

Traffic Fatalities over time

Between 1999 and 2011, Michigan’s yearly traffic fatalities have dropped steadily, from nearly 1,400 per year at the beginning of the decade to roughly 900 in 2011. Stricter safety standards for vehicle manufacturers, as well as the cash-for-clunkers program, which prompted consumers to upgrade to newer and safer cars, have both had a positive effect on traffic fatality rates across the U.S.

Auto Repair Costs

The average car repair costs in Michigan have dropped slightly between 2010 and 2011, and Michigan has stayed ahead of the national average for car repair costs in both years. Numerous factors affect these statistics, including the number of people who choose not to fix their cars, or do their own repairs. The presence of the Detroit automakers obviously makes auto parts cheaper than in the rest of the country, and the working class legacy of the Motor City has provided a significant portion of Michigan’s population with basic knowledge and skills to complete their own car repairs.

Rules in Your State

Whether you’ve been driving for fifty years or fifty days, it pays to know the rules of the road along with the state’s various requirements for drivers. To make things easy, we’ve put together all the relevant info and rules for Michigan drivers in one place. Read on for information on insurance requirements, DUI penalties in Michigan, and licensing info for new drivers.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements for Michigan

The Michigan Department of State puts forth that Michigan drivers must also carry “No-Fault” Insurance, which consists of:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Property Protection Insurance (PPI)
  • Residual Liability Insurance – Bodily Injury and Property Damage
    • $20,000 of bodily injury to another person
    • $40,000 of bodily injuries to all other involved persons
    • $10,000 of property damage in another state outside Michigan

Collision and comprehensive insurance for damage to your own vehicle are NOT required in Michigan, but Michigan’s no-fault laws make it impossible for drivers to sue other drivers for their car’s damages for anything beyond $1,000.

Required Proof of Insurance for Michigan Drivers

You must carry an insurance card with the following information on it:

  • Insurance Policy Number
  • Effective and expiration dates
  • Make and model of the covered vehicle
  • The VIN number
  • Name of Insurance Company
  • License plate numbers

Michigan Licensing Facts for Teen Drivers: The Graduated Driver License

Michigan has a strictly implemented graduated driver license program, which allows teens to get the experience necessary to be safe on the road before they are given unrestricted driving privileges. Read on for the basic details on the GDL program and how it works; complete details can be found at the above link, too.

  • Hardship License for Minors? No.
  • Learner’s Permit Age: 14 years, 9 months. Drivers must have a passenger over the age of 21 at all times, and must complete a total of 50 practice hours, including 30 hours with a parent, and 10 at least hours night driving. Additionally, drivers must pass two education and driving tests before being eligible for a license.
  • Restricted License Age: 16 years. Drivers may not drive between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am unless for specific work, school, or extracurricular related activities. May not have more than one passenger under the age of 21 unless accompanied by an adult driver over the age of 21, or for authorized work or school activities. See the link above for complete details on restrictions.
  • Full License (Unrestricted) Age: 17 years old. Must have held Level 2 restricted license for at least six months.

Additional Driver Rules

Michigan Lemon Law

Michigan has implemented a law which regulates auto sales and the sale of “lemon” cars, or cars that have chronic maintenance issues but are passed off as good to an unknowing consumer.

Michigan Consumer Protection Act

The Consumer Protection Act is a general regulation covering the rights of consumers in relation to businesses, sales, and corporations. It provides a good structure for consumers to seek recourse if they’ve been wronged or compromised by a business entity.


Administrative license suspension 1st offense? For BAC between .08 and .17: Up to 180 days; For BAC over .17: Up to 1 year
Restore driving privileges during suspension? If hardship is demonstrated, drivers can apply for <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1627_8665_9074-29754--,00.html" >driver license restoration</a>.
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for first offenders for the following offenses? For BAC between .08 and .17: No.; For BAC over .17: Yes.
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for repeat offenders for the following offenses? yes
Fine for first offense? For BAC between .08 and .17: Up to $500.; For BAC over .17: Up to $700.
Jail sentence for first offense? For BAC between .08 and .17: Up to 93 days in jail.; For BAC over .17: Up to 180 days in jail.

Representatives & Resources in Your State

The following resources and links will help Michigan drivers connect with their local government for things like driver services, vehicle registration, and consumer advocacy for insurance claims. Additional resources can be found through the Department of State and other sites listed below.

Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS)
PO Box 30220
Lansing, MI 48909-7720
Contact Information for DIFS
DIFS Consumer complaint resource

Michigan Department of State
Mailing address:
Michigan Department of State
Lansing, MI 48918
Contact information for Department of State

Department of State Vehicle Owner’s Resource Page

Here drivers will find basic resources about licenses, registering vehicles, and other services related to vehicle ownership. Michigan does not have a separate department of motor vehicles aside from the Department of State, so the above link is your definitive resource for driver services in the state.

Michigan Department of Transportation
State Transportation Building
425 W. Ottawa St.
Lansing, MI 48909
Get Directions
Contact Information for MDOT

DIFS Consumer Guides
The Insurance Commissioner has compiled numerous guides and pamphlets to address various topics and concerns surrounding insurance in Michigan. These guides will likely answer most questions you might have and educate consumers further about how insurance works in the state.