Why Is Car Insurance So Expensive in Michigan?

Michigan is the most expensive state for auto insurance. On average, drivers pay $3,688 per year for a policy meeting state minimums — ​​nearly 300% higher than the national median rate. By comparing quotes, drivers can save on insurance expenses.

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The average cost of auto insurance in Michigan is $5,471 for a full coverage policy, making it the most expensive state for auto insurance by far.

The state’s extremely high insurance premiums are driven by many factors like the state’s insurance requirements, median healthcare costs, rates of uninsured drivers and more. Fortunately, you can take some steps as a Michigan resident to lower your insurance rates and find affordable policies.

Key Takeaways

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Drivers in Michigan pay an average of $5,471 per year for auto insurance, with the state seeing a 51% increase in rates from 2015 to 2020.

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The state’s extensive minimum coverage requirements — including unlimited personal injury protection coverage — contribute to its high insurance costs.

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Other factors contribute to expensive insurance costs in Michigan, such as the state’s higher-than-average rate of uninsured drivers and insurance fraud cases.

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Why Michigan Car Insurance Prices Are So High

Why are Michigan car insurance rates so high? The answer isn’t simple. Many factors contribute to why car insurance is so expensive in Michigan, including its no-fault status, additional insurance requirements, number of uninsured drivers, rate of insurance fraud, claims processing practices and personal injury lawsuits.

The No-Fault Car Insurance System

Because Michigan is a no-fault state, drivers must have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which covers financial losses regardless of who is at fault in an accident. This additional required coverage is one of the main reasons insurance premiums in the state are so high.

Extra Insurance Requirements

Michigan’s auto insurance requirements state that drivers must have PIP coverage, property protection insurance (PPI) and a minimum of 20/40/10 in liability coverage. PIP coverage helps pay for your medical bills and lost wages regardless of who is at fault, while property protection insurance pays up to $1 million for damage your vehicle causes to third-party properties.

Note that Michigan requires drivers to have unlimited PIP coverage, which guarantees unlimited lifetime medical benefits to those injured in an auto accident. While you may opt out of this if you have alternative medical coverage, it’s one of the main factors that increase the amount residents pay for insurance. On average, auto insurance providers in Michigan pay $555,000 for lifetime medical benefits for injured parties, increasing the cost of insurance for everyone.

Uninsured Drivers

Michigan has the second-highest number of uninsured drivers in the country, with almost 26% of drivers lacking auto insurance. That’s nearly 13% higher than the national average. When uninsured drivers get into an accident, the other party’s insurance provider covers property damage and medical expenses through uninsured motorist insurance. A high rate of uninsured drivers compels insurers to shift the cost to those with insurance to compensate for potential losses.

The Rate of Uninsured Motorists in Each State

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  • State
    Uninsured Driver Rate
  • Alaska
    16%
  • Alabama
    20%
  • Arkansas
    19%
  • Arizona
    12%
  • California
    17%
  • Colorado
    16%
  • Connecticut
    6%
  • District of Columbia
    19%
  • Delaware
    9%
  • Florida
    20%
  • Georgia
    12%
  • Hawaii
    9%
  • Iowa
    11%
  • Idaho
    13%
  • Illinois
    12%
  • Indiana
    16%
  • Kansas
    11%
  • Kentucky
    14%
  • Louisiana
    12%
  • Massachusetts
    4%
  • Maryland
    14%
  • Maine
    5%
  • Michigan
    26%
  • Minnesota
    10%
  • Missouri
    16%
  • Mississippi
    29%
  • Montana
    9%
  • North Carolina
    7%
  • North Dakota
    13%
  • Nebraska
    9%
  • New Hampshire
    6%
  • New Jersey
    3%
  • New Mexico
    22%
  • Nevada
    10%
  • New York
    4%
  • Ohio
    13%
  • Oklahoma
    13%
  • Oregon
    11%
  • Pennsylvania
    6%
  • Rhode Island
    17%
  • South Carolina
    11%
  • South Dakota
    7%
  • Tennessee
    24%
  • Texas
    8%
  • Utah
    7%
  • Virginia
    11%
  • Vermont
    9%
  • Washington
    22%
  • Wisconsin
    13%
  • West Virginia
    9%
  • Wyoming
    6%

High Rates of Insurance Fraud

In Michigan, it’s estimated that 10% of no-fault insurance claims are fraudulent. Insurers pass on these losses to the policyholders, which is why premiums go up in states with high fraud rates. To avoid increased rates, drivers must protect themselves against fraud by educating themselves on fraudulent schemes.

Short Processing Time for Claims

Michigan’s insurance laws require auto insurance companies to reimburse claims within 30 days — otherwise, they’ll be penalized. This short grace period often doesn’t give insurers enough time to scrutinize claims properly, which increases the overall rate of fraud. Insurers in the state have to make up for these losses by charging policyholders higher premiums.

High Rate of Personal Injury Lawsuits

In Michigan, the number of personal injury lawsuits went up by 130% in the past ten years, with two-thirds of lawsuits involving drivers who sued their providers over no-fault insurance claims. The state’s no-fault system allows individuals to file for a personal injury lawsuit in case of serious injury.

Car Insurance Rate Increases in Michigan

Auto insurance rates naturally increase each year due to many factors, such as the consumer price index, the cost of repairing a car and the price of medical care. For instance, MoneyGeek found that Michigan's average car insurance premium in 2021 was 51.1% higher than in 2015. Drivers in 2021 pay an average of $477 more per year for auto insurance compared to what they did in 2015.

How to Save on Car Insurance in Michigan

There are ways to find affordable car insurance in Michigan, despite the state’s notoriously expensive premiums. Below are a few actionable steps you can take to reduce your car insurance rates.

1

Shop around for auto insurance rates.

Avoid the temptation of accepting the first auto insurance quote you see. Insurers use different factors to determine your sample rates, with some insurers weighing certain factors more heavily than others. By comparing quotes from various car insurance providers, you’ll find the best rates and coverages that suit your needs.

2

Bundle your policies.

Most auto insurance providers give discounts to people who buy several types of insurance from the same company. You can score significantly lower premiums by bundling your home and auto policies.

3

Ask about discounts.

Insurance providers offer a range of discounts to stay competitive; your unique situation may qualify you for savings. Ask an agent what discounts you’re eligible for, and make sure to consider this when comparing quotes.

4

Use car insurance comparison tools.

While most insurance providers have online quote tools, using these across several websites can be time-consuming. We recommend using car insurance comparison tools, which present quotes from multiple providers at once to help you weigh your options.

5

Increase your deductible.

Your deductible — the money you pay out-of-pocket when you make a claim — is a significant factor that can affect your rates. In general, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Consider increasing your deductible to lower your expenses.

6

Consider pay-as-you-drive coverage.

If you rarely drive, you may benefit from pay-as-you-drive coverage, also known as pay-by-the-mile coverage. As the name suggests, insurance companies calculate premiums for these plans based on how many miles you drive. Pay-per-mile plans can significantly cut insurance costs for people who drive less or close to the national average of 13,476 miles per year.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


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