The Zebra, an insurance search engine, released a report in October about the causes and rippling impact of exorbitant car insurance rates in Michigan, the most expensive state for car insurance.
• Michigan drivers pay $2,610 each year on average, which is 83 percent higher than the national average of $1,427.
• Car insurance premiums exceed $6,000 and comprise up to 20 percent of annual income in some Michigan cities.
• Detroit car insurance rates are three times higher than rates in some more rural parts of the state.
The report reveals auto insurance pricing data across the state and country and explores how Michigan's uniquely high car insurance costs came to be, what efforts have been made to fix them and what protections are at stake in Michigan's upcoming gubernatorial elections.
Why Car Insurance Rates in Michigan Are So High
Michigan is a "no-fault" state, meaning a driver's own insurance company is required to pay for injury-related expenses after a crash, regardless of whose fault the crash was.
• Michigan is unique in that it requires drivers to buy high levels of car insurance coverage---notably Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance with unlimited, lifetime medical coverage for injuries.
• The unlimited nature of these benefits, coupled with rising health care costs, results in high medical claims, exacerbated by lawsuits, abuse of benefits and high rates of fraud.
• Insurance companies raise car insurance premiums to account for their losses from those costly PIP claims.
"If you already dread paying your car insurance premium, just think of how frustrating paying double or even triple that amount would be. That's what Michigan drivers are facing, and that's why car insurance has become such a massive political issue. Something needs to change," said Alyssa Connolly, director of market insights at The Zebra. "No doubt the entire country---especially the dozen other no-fault insurance states---should pay close attention to the issue, the data and the impact politics can have on car insurance."