Buying Michigan Auto Insurance
Residents of Michigan are no strangers to automobiles, but even motorists in the Great Lakes State need to be adequately insured before driving. The no-fault laws that require financial responsibility are among the most comprehensive in the nation, and searching through the details that make up a policy may require some research. Luckily for residents that hope to buy a financial protection plan, there are resources available online that can help. Before making a purchase, residents can use the Web to research coverage options, compare a wide range of quotes, make sure that an agent is licensed and ensure that a prospective insurer is reputable.
Extensive coverage brings high prices and the need to shop around
Drivers looking for cheap auto insurance in Michigan are likely to have a relatively tough time, but the main reason for this is that even minimum policies issued in the state provide the most extensive coverage available in the country.
Michigan auto policies must provide unlimited coverage for crash-related medical costs, up to $1 million for property damage caused by the policyholder and a total of at least $50,000 in residual liability coverage for damages caused by the insured driver. Shoppers will also have to purchase comprehensive and collision, which are not required by the state, if they want to insure their own autos against physical damage.
Detroit residents, because of the high minimum requirements they must meet and the density of the area that they live in, are subject to the highest coverage costs in the nation, according to data from Runzheimer International. The cost to insure a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu in Detroit in August 2010 was reportedly 56 percent higher than that of the next highest city, New Orleans, and almost 600 percent higher than the city with the cheapest car insurance prices, Wapakoneta, Ohio.
Residents will need to shop around among a handful of companies in order to make sure that they've found the best price before making a purchase. When shoppers get quotes, either online or through an agent, it's important to make sure that they provide information that is as accurate as possible so that quotes will reflect actual prices.
Using online resources to research factors beyond price
Price should not be the only variable Michiganders look at when shopping for a policy, though. If a consumer decides to purchase through an agent, he or she may want to check on the agent's license status. Shoppers should also check to see whether a company is reputable. To look up both of these pieces of information, Michiganders can head to the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation website.
Once on the site, visitors can use the insurance licensee lookup form to confirm that an agent is authorized to do business in the state. Shoppers will also have access to complaint statistics that show the rate at which policyholders filed grievances against particular companies for the past three years. Choosing from among the top-ranked insurers in these reports may increase the chances of customer satisfaction down the road.
Check for discounts
Before making the final purchase, Michigan residents should make sure they're not missing out on any premium reductions. Companies typically offer auto insurance discounts as a way of remaining competitive or attracting customers. Although many insurers are unique, and offers are likely to change periodically, vehicle owners can still usually find rate reductions for:
- Having a clean driving record
- Maintaining good grades
- Taking a defensive driving course
- Driving a car with special safety/security features
- Insuring multiple vehicles on the same policy