Vehicle owners in Birmingham are required by Michigan state law to have car insurance. Whether you are involved in a fender-bender in a parking lot or a serious collision on Woodward Avenue, a solid auto insurance policy can shield you from facing large financial losses as a result.
Finding the best and most affordable car insurance is easy when you work with a local independent insurance agent. These agents can help you obtain and compare customized car insurance quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in Michigan. Contact an insurance agent near you to get started.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Birmingham, MI?
The average cost of car insurance in Michigan is significantly higher than the national average. This makes shopping around for the lowest rate especially important.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Michigan average annual car insurance cost: $2,476
The good news for Michigan drivers is that a recent change in Michigan’s car insurance laws and requirements is expected to result in a lower average cost for coverage, so as numbers start coming in, this average cost is likely to drop.
Car insurance costs can vary significantly from one driver to the next because they are based on several factors. Your costs can be affected by the following factors.
- The make, model, and year of the vehicle(s) you are insuring
- Your age, occupation, marital status, and driving record
- Information about the other licensed drivers in your household
- Whether you own or rent your home
- Your claims history and credit score
- The amount of coverage you are purchasing
- The size of your deductible
You can usually earn significant rate reductions if you bundle your car insurance with other policies like homeowners insurance or renters insurance. Many insurance companies also offer other money saving incentives like good-student discounts and safe-driver discounts.
What Are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements for Drivers in Birmingham?
Michigan is what is referred to as a no-fault state. This means that if you are injured in a collision, your own insurance will provide the first line of defense for covering your medical bills and lost wages.
If you exhaust your own coverage, the at-fault driver’s insurance may then be charged if you meet certain thresholds that enable you to sue.
When it comes to car insurance, Michigan has some of the most robust requirements in the nation. All car insurance policies in this state are required to include the following.
- Liability insurance: This covers your financial obligations to other people for medical bills and property damage if you cause a collision and the costs exceed what their insurance can cover, or you cause an accident while driving in an at-fault state. Your policy must include, at a minimum:
- Bodily injury liability insurance: $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
- Property damage liability insurance: $10,000 per accident
- Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance: This covers medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses if you are injured in an accident, regardless of fault. You can purchase coverage in your choice of the following available amounts:
- $0 (opt out) This option is available only to drivers who have a qualifying healthcare plan that includes coverage for injuries sustained in car accidents
- Property protection insurance (PPI): This is coverage that is designed to pay for damage you may cause to stationary or fixed objects like parked cars, buildings, fences, barriers, road signs, and guardrails if you strike them with your vehicle while driving in Michigan only. This coverage is included in all car insurance policies in this state and will cover up to $1 million.
Because Michigan is a no-fault state and required coverage limits here are so high, a minimum coverage policy provides a lot of protection. If you frequently drive out of state, you may want to purchase higher liability coverage.
Also, if you have a lot to lose and want to have even more liability coverage than your policy will allow, you can supplement your car insurance with an umbrella insurance policy. This is an affordable way to boost all of your liability coverage.
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What Else Can Birmingham Car Insurance Cover?
In addition to the mandatory coverage mentioned above, your car insurance provider will also offer a few coverage options that you may want to include in your Birmingham auto insurance policy.
- Comprehensive and collision insurance: These policies cover your own vehicle if it is damaged, lost, or destroyed. Though optional by law, you will frequently be required to carry both by your lender if you are still paying for your car and by the dealership if you are leasing it.
- Comprehensive insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled in a non-collision event, such as if it is hit by a falling object or washed away in a flood.
- Collision insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Roadside assistance: This covers the cost of a service call if you need assistance and/or a tow truck due to your car becoming disabled while you’re out on the road, such as if you get a flat tire or run out of gas.
- Gap insurance: This is designed to cover the gap between what your car is worth and what you still owe for it if it is totaled in a covered event. New cars depreciate quickly, so this coverage is usually recommended for the few years of new-car ownership.
- Rental car reimbursement: This covers the cost of renting a vehicle while your car is being repaired following a covered event.
You will want to be sure to consider your own needs as well as those of the other members of your household when you are deciding which, if any, coverage options you want to include in your policy.
What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Birmingham?
It is illegal to drive without insurance in Michigan. If caught doing so, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, and if convicted, you can face the following penalties.
- A fine ranging from $200 to $500, or up to one year in jail, or both
- The suspension of your driver’s license until you have obtained insurance
- The suspension of your vehicle registration until you have obtained insurance
- The requirement to pay a $50 fee to reactivate your vehicle registration
- Higher car insurance rates
If you are involved in a collision while driving without insurance, things get even worse. Not only will you not be entitled to coverage for your medical treatments and lost wages, you will also be responsible for covering the cost of medical treatments and property damage if you were the driver at fault.
Despite these harsh penalties, Michigan has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country.
- Percentage of US drivers who are uninsured: 12.6%
- Percentage of Michigan drivers who are uninsured: 20.3%
One reason for the high rate of uninsured drivers may be because car insurance has historically been very expensive in this state.
The new laws passed in 2021 allow you to purchase lower coverage limits on your PIP instead of the mandatory unlimited coverage the state required in the past. This can help to make car insurance more affordable for many people in the state.
Does Birmingham Car Insurance Cover against Auto Theft?
The average auto theft rate in the state of Michigan is lower than the national average, and in Birmingham, the rate is even lower. This is not to say the risk does not exist. Residents of this small city report about eight stolen cars a year.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.29
- Michigan auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 1.75
- Birmingham auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 0.33
Although the risk is low, you should be aware that you can only be compensated for a stolen vehicle if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive, or “other than collision” coverage.
If you are still paying for your car, or if you have it on a lease, chances are good you have this coverage already. If not, you may want to look into how much it will cost to add comprehensive coverage to your Birmingham car insurance policy.
Why Let an Independent Insurance Agent in Birmingham Help You?
When you are looking for the best and most affordable car insurance policy, an independent agent in or near Birmingham can help. These agents work for you, not for a particular insurance company, so they can shop around to find the coverage you want at a lowest offered price.
It doesn’t cost anything to work with an independent insurance agent. Find an insurance agent near you to get answers to your coverage-related questions and to start comparing customized car insurance quotes.
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