Michigan Car Insurance Laws

by Don Rafner

Drivers who operate motor vehicles in Michigan are required by state law to have auto insurance. Those who disobey this law can face significant fines and even jail time. Knowing the basics of Michigan's auto insurance laws is a necessity for anyone who drives in the state. It's the only way you can make sure that you are not committing an illegal act when operating a motor vehicle on public roadways.

Requirements

Motorists in Michigan must purchase no-fault auto insurance under state law. Those without this coverage can be convicted of a misdemeanor and face fines from $200 to $500. Motorists without insurance can also spend a year in jail, though this is left to the discretion of the judge issuing the sentence. The penalties don't stop there. A court can suspend the license of an uninsured motorist for 30 days or until he can show proof of no-fault insurance.

Coverage

Under Michigan state law, drivers must purchase three basic parts of a no-fault policy. Motorists must purchase no-fault insurance that comes with personal injury protection, which pays all the medical costs should a driver suffer an injury in an auto accident. The insurance must also come with property protection coverage. The minimum coverage is $1 million for damage that the policyholder's vehicle causes to other people's property. Motorists must also purchase insurance with residual bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. This takes care of attorneys' fees and pays for any damages that they are held liable for in an auto accident. State law requires a minimum amount of coverage of $20,000 for a person who is hurt or killed in an accident, $40,000 if several people are hurt or killed, and $10,000 for property damage a Michigan driver causes in another state.

Benefits

Buying no-fault auto insurance in Michigan makes sense financially for motorists. This insurance provides drivers and their families with unlimited medical and rehabilitative benefits if drivers or passengers are injured in an accident, no matter is at fault. Moreover, if a driver is unable to work after an accident, he is paid for the lost time by the insurer.

About the Author

Don Rafner has been writing professionally since 1992, with work published in "The Washington Post," "Chicago Tribune," "Phoenix Magazine" and several trade magazines. He is also the managing editor of "Midwest Real Estate News." He specializes in writing about mortgage lending, personal finance, business and real-estate topics. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Illinois.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera police car up close image by Aaron Kohr from Fotolia.com