Motorists in Michigan bear a heavy financial burden because auto insurance is more expensive here than anywhere else in the country. Michigan drivers spend an average of 8 percent of their annual income for auto insurance. A new study shows that our average expenditure of $4,490 is 60 percent greater than the $1,840 paid in the state at the bottom of the rankings.
Part of this is attributed to high rates for comprehensive injury coverage. Only in Michigan are motorists required to carry unlimited no-fault insurance that provides for lifetime rehabilitation and medical benefits for those injured in car accidents.
The law is the law, after all. Regardless of who is at fault in an accident, auto insurance will pay for medical care, rehabilitation, lost wages and other expenses for an injured party for as long as the services are necessary. This increases everyone's cost for auto insurance to the point that our premiums are 40 percent higher than rates in the state that ranked second.
The lifetime benefit is the major factor but not the only factor that affects the cost of an individual auto insurance policy. Insurance companies also take into account the population density in the area where the auto is driven and the insured's driving record -- more speeding tickets will lead to a higher premium, as will living in a neighborhood with a high accident rate. Whether the car is parked on the street or kept in a garage can also have an impact.
It may pay for individual motorists to shop around for other auto insurance companies offering lower rates. Another suggestion is the bundle: Drivers may want to ask their insurers if there are discounts if a person buys their homeowners' or renters' insurance and auto coverage from the same carrier.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Comprehensive injury coverage pushes car insurance rates for Michiganders," Meg Handley, July 30, 2012