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Three reasons Michigan auto insurance highest in nation

Car accident
Daniel X. O'Neil/Flickr

Car insurance rates in Michigan are 136% higher than the national average, according to an analysis by Insurance Quotes, a subsidiary of Bankrate.com.

Probably the biggest reason, says Insurance Quote's Laura Adams, is that Michigan is a no-fault state

That means insurance companies have to pay the cost of any car accident a customer is involved in, regardless of which driver is at fault. 

Adams says the ten states with the highest auto insurance rates are all no-fault states.

Here's reason number two:  Michigan's the only state with unlimited lifetime coverage for catastrophic injuries.

"You've got a very impressive benefit," says Adams, "but it makes insurance very expensive."

And reason number three:  The very high number of people who drive without car insurance

That makes insurance higher for people who do buy insurance.

Adams says it's a Catch-22 situation. Many people have been priced out of car insurance, especially in Wayne County.

"It's kind of this self-fulfilling prophecy," Adams says.  "The higher the rate, the more people who don't have insurance, and the higher the rate."

State lawmakers right now are considering bills they hope will reduce car insurance rates. 

Insurance Quotes is funded by the insurance industry, which is pushing for a no-fault overhaul.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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