Car insurance isn’t optional or cheap in Michigan. If you drive without it, you risk a misdemeanor conviction, fines and even jail time. The state’s no-fault insurance law saddles us with the highest rates in the nation, and there’s nowhere in Michigan where rates are higher than in the Motor City. To get the most out of every dollar spent, our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched companies with the best car insurance in Detroit.
On average, Detroiters pay about $5,500 per year on car insurance, with rates in the city topping out at about $22,000 for a 20-year-old female in ZIP code 48277. By contrast, the national average is only $1,427.
So, why is car insurance so expensive in Michigan?
Part of the reason for the high cost of car insurance in Detroit is the high rate of property crime. About 8,000 to 9,000 vehicles are stolen each year. While the vehicle theft rate in the city has been on the decline for years, there was an average of 23 car thefts per day in 2016.
Crime isn’t the only reason Detroiters see such high rates. We’re also at the mercy of potholes, bad weather and an uncapped personal injury protection benefit.
Michigan is a no-fault insurance state. This means insured drivers are protected against losses by their own insurance agency, regardless of who is at fault in an accident, as opposed to other forms of coverage that reimburse for damages depending on who is at fault.
Michigan law requires drivers to carry three types of benefits: PIP, PPI and BI/PD.
Michigan car insurance benefits
Personal Injury Protection
Pays medical expenses and up to 85% of potential income for up to 3 years if an accident injury prevents your return to work
Pays up to $1 million for damages to other people’s property.
Bodily Injury/Property Damage
Covers defense costs and pays for damages and injuries if sued by other parties.
Mandatory minimums for BI/PD coverage are $20,000 for individual injury or death, $40,000 for injuries or death to multiple people and $10,000 for property damage in another state.
However, none of these benefits covers damages to your vehicle. For that you need optional collision coverage.
Optional coverage type
Limited collision coverage
Covers repairs if you’re less than 50% at fault.
Standard collision coverage
Covers cost of repairs after deductible.
Broad form collision coverage
Covers repairs without payment of deductible if you are less than 50% at fault. Covers repairs after deductible if you are more than 50% at fault.
Covers repairs not caused by accidents, such as damage from sideswiping a building.
Uninsured/underinsured driver coverage
Covers cost of damages if you are in an accident with someone uninsured or underinsured.
Towing and roadside assistance
Covers cost of towing, jump start and tire changing.
Rental car coverage
Covers car rental while yours is being repaired after an accident.
*InsuraMatch companies are in good standing with regulatory authorities, have been vetted and approved by InsuraMatch and are represented by InsuraMatch or its affiliates.
Progressive offers a variety of ways to save with discounts for bundling with home/renters insurance and the safe driver discount, where a device monitors your driving habits for the chance of a reduced rate. Detroit area reps are another plus for Progressive. They have a reputation for being friendly and helpful.
Liberty Mutual first opened in Michigan almost a century ago, making it a trusted name in insurance in the Detroit area. The company offers discounted rates to teachers and PIP coverage that includes household replacement services, which cover the cost of assistance for work you could have done on your own prior to injury.
The General is probably the best option for anyone with a poor driving record or in need of the lowest cost. In Detroit, The General advertises rates well below the national average and reviewers give them five stars for low cost. However, when it comes to great coverage and personalized care, many suggest looking elsewhere.
Family Auto Insurance Agency
For a single go-to person for all of your insurance needs, Family Auto Insurance Agency is a great place to start your search. They offer coverage for cars, homes, businesses, RVs, motorcycles and more. Every client has a personal account manager and access to a 24/7 assistance line.
Kim-One Insurance Agency
Kim-One boasts that more than 97 percent of customers are happy enough with their service to recommend it to others, and according to online review sites and media rankings, they aren’t lying. Kim-One consistently gets five-star ratings. Plus, with their Meemic educator discount, they are a great choice for teachers and school staff.