Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Written by Marissa Hayes
Insurance Writer & Expert Marissa Hayes

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2022

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Michigan OverviewDetails
Road MilesTotal in State: 122,286
Vehicle Miles Driven: 97,843
VehiclesRegistered: 8,036,643
Total Stolen: 15,764
State Population9,995,915
Most Popular VehicleFord Escape
Uninsured Motorists20.3%
State Rank: 4th
Total Driving Fatalities2008-2017
Speeding: 2,397
Drunk Driving: 2,562
Average Premiums by Coverage TypeLiability: $795.32
Collision: $413.83
Comprehensive: $154.85
Cheapest ProvidersUSAA
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The car capital of the world. The world’s largest cement plant. The birthplace of dried cereal.

Michigan is known for muscle and intellect, the home of major car companies like Ford and General Motors and major research institutions like the University of Michigan.

They are also known for another, less fortunate aspect. It is a state with some of the highest average car insurance rates in the country.

If you’re on this page, you’re likely looking for car insurance. This is for yourself, a family member, or a friend. You may have noticed in your research that car insurance is confusing. All the technical terms, the nomenclature, the numbers.

We understand. We’ve got you covered.

In this guide, we take the complicated and make it simple. The technical terms and make them laymen. We do the research so you don’t have to.

Get ready to start that engine. We’re heading out.

Ready to compare rates? Try our FREE online tool.

Table of Contents

Michigan Car Insurance Coverage and Rates

Industry terms can be confusing. There’s med pay, personal injury protection, core coverage, comprehensive, collision, and suddenly your head might start to hurt.

We get it. We’re here to help.

In this chapter, you’ll learn all about those terms, what they mean, and how they apply to you. You’ll also see the statistics behind them. For instance, what is the average cost of collision coverage? Or are the insurance companies paying on claims for med pay?

It’s your crash course in car insurance. Let’s get on the road.

Michigan’s Car Culture

This information about car culture in Michigan comes from The Hartford, in partnership with AARP.

Detroit is the epicenter of car culture in America, home to some of the largest car companies in the world. It and the state as a whole owe a great of infrastructure and economy to the car industry.

Says James Doherty, who lived in Detroit for 15 years, “Michigan is the only place I’ve been where people will actually confront you for not driving an American car.”

Every year, the North American International Auto Show brings 800,000 attendees to Detroit for about $450,000 million in revenue.

Car culture in Michigan affects everything from your vehicle, your education, your entertainment, and, of course, your economy.

Michigan Minimum Coverage

Michigan is a no-fault state and requires you to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) and property protection insurance (PPI) along with standard liability insurance.

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The liability insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute, is 20/40/10. This means you must have insurance that covers you for

  • $20,000 for the injuries or death of one person
  • $40,000 for the injuries or deaths of more than one person
  • $10,000 for the destruction of property

Your PIP plan covers your medical expenses and lost wages if you were to be in an accident. It also covers any passengers in the car and can cover any family members living in your house.

PIP is important in a no-fault state as the other driver won’t be covering your medical expenses or lost wages unless you sue them.

PPI is another safeguard, this time of the other drivers and property owners in Michigan. If you were to hit and damage another’s property with your car, PPI would kick in. It’s an up to $1 million insurance coverage and necessary to get a license plate.

This, according to Allstate and Nolo (a legal authority). There is also a new set of car insurance reform laws that may allow Michigan residents to partially or completely opt-out of PIP, depending on if their health insurance covers auto accidents.

There’s uncertainty about these new laws and their impacts. We’ll cover more in the following sections.

Forms of Financial Responsibility

When you are pulled over by an officer, you have two options easily available to prove you have insurance:

  • An insurance card
  • An electronic insurance card

An electronic card is a good option. It saves paper, is easily accessible, and contains all the information you need.

And, fortunately, Michigan law prohibits officers from accessing other apps or other personal information when confirming the card’s validity, according to Michigan Injury Attorneys.

If you don’t have proof of insurance, the consequences will be fairly mild. You’ll be given a fix-it-ticket, according to law firm Kershaw, Vititoe, & Jedinak. If you provide proof that you have insurance to the court, you may get a fine as little as $25.

Premiums as a Percentage of Income

We know that car insurance can be expensive. It can take money away from groceries, rent, and house repairs, among other things. The money listed on the bill isn’t enough to quantify the impact.

The question is, what percentage of your income are you paying on car insurance?

We have partnered with Quadrant Data to provide hard numbers about car insurance, everything ranging from the differences in male and female rates to the differences in price by Michigan ZIP codes. Its data comes directly from companies.

That’s where our premium as a percentage of income statistic comes from.

Premiums as Percentage of Income201220132014
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Michigan residents pay a much larger percentage of their income on car insurance compared to the national average.

How does this stack up compared to neighboring states?

Premiums as Percentage of Income201220132014
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Still much much larger. The cost of car insurance in Michigan is much higher than many states, in part because it is a no-fault state, which we will cover later.

Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates in MI (Liability, Collision, Comprehensive)

Core coverage for car insurance is like an HE3 atom. There is the neutron, the heaviest component. This is your liability insurance. And then there are the two protons. These are your auxiliary components. These are your collision and comprehensive insurances.

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Whereas liability takes care of the other person, such as their medical payments and property damage, collision and comprehensive take care of you and your vehicle.

  • Collision: pays for damage to your vehicle in an accident
  • Comprehensive: pays for damage to your vehicle in anything other than an accident

Each has its own price.

Core Coverage CostsMichiganNational Average
Foll Coverage$1,364.00$1,009.38
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Liability is more expensive than collision, which is more expensive than comprehensive. Michigan full coverage cost is more than $350 higher than the national average.

Additional Liability

You might want additional coverage in Michigan. We’ve already talked about two of those coverages, which are mandatory: personal injury protection and property protection insurance.

Medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorist are two that are useful in Michigan.

Medical payments (Med Pay) covers your medical bills if you’re in an accident. It is similar to PIP but doesn’t cover your lost wages. You might choose to get Med Pay even if you have PIP.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) covers your vehicle if you’re hit by a motorist who doesn’t have insurance.

Twenty percent of Michigan motorists are uninsured, which ranks fourth in the country.

But there’s always the question about whether insurance companies will pay out on claims. For an answer, we turn to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its auto insurance database report.

There, it shows the loss ratios for PIP, Med Pay, and UM/UIM for Michigan. A loss ratio is the number of premiums written divided by the number of claims that are approved.

  • Anything over 1 and the companies are losing money
  • Anything below .5 and the companies might not be paying on claims
  • Between .6 and .8 is the good spot

Let’s check out the numbers.

Loss Ratio201320142015
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)1.09.841.12
Medical Payment (Med Pay)
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist.76.77.75
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With Med Pay and PIP, companies lost money two out of three years. UM/UIM was fine throughout.

Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders

If you want additional coverages, there are some that many companies offer, to fit many needs.

  • Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
  • Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
  • Non-Owner Car Insurance
  • Modified Car Insurance Coverage
  • Classic Car Insurance
  • Pay-As-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance

Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by Age & Gender in MI

Some states have banned discrimination based on gender for car insurance rates, and this is one of those few states. As you can see the rate for males and females is the same, but the rate still varies with age.

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked into whether this was true. In its study, it looked through decades of data to determine which gender was the safer driver. It writes,

“Many more men than women die each year in motor vehicle crashes. Men typically drive more miles than women and more often engage in risky driving practices including not using safety belts, driving while impaired by alcohol, and speeding.”

Insurance companies back that up. Traditionally, rates are lower for women. Ditto for the elderly and ditto for the married.

In general, being responsible matters. In Michigan, however, it appears rates are slightly different.

CompanyMarried 35-year old FemaleMarried 35-year old MaleMarried 60-year old FemaleMarried 60-year old MaleSingle 17-year old FemaleSingle 17-year old MaleSingle 25-year old FemaleSingle 25-year old Male
Allstate F&C$16,754.82$16,754.82$15,575.00$15,575.00$41,309.06$41,309.06$17,646.81$17,646.81
Farmers Ins Exch$6,307.90$6,307.90$5,856.52$5,856.52$13,831.87$13,831.87$7,104.64$7,104.64
GEICO Ind$4,453.35$4,453.35$4,533.10$4,533.10$12,291.51$12,291.51$4,252.21$4,252.21
Liberty Mutual Fire$14,880.96$14,880.96$14,732.64$14,732.64$35,157.81$35,157.81$14,880.96$14,880.96
Nationwide Mutual Fire$4,477.30$4,477.30$3,979.03$3,979.03$11,785.55$11,785.55$4,907.85$4,907.85
Progressive Marathon$3,156.54$2,932.15$2,785.12$3,113.99$11,516.82$12,259.07$3,676.55$3,393.23
State Farm Mutual Auto$7,556.15$7,556.15$7,010.11$7,010.11$26,491.15$26,491.15$8,869.85$8,869.85
Travelers Affinity$5,839.83$5,839.83$5,012.52$5,012.52$17,631.16$17,631.16$6,344.88$6,344.88
USAA CIC$2,649.82$2,508.37$2,491.74$2,352.36$6,472.15$6,145.20$3,229.01$3,095.85
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Within Michigan, rates for most companies are set between males and females. Progressive and USAA are the two exceptions.

  • The highest rates come from Allstate: over $41,000 for both 17-year-old males and females
  • The lowest rates come from USAA: $2,500 for a 60-year-old female and $2,350 for a 60-year-old female

That’s a $38,000 difference between companies, ages, and marital statuses.

Likely the Quadrant data reflects the current climate about car insurance in Michigan. As with some changes to the mandatory car insurance requirements, the new laws prohibit companies from using demographic information, such as gender.

Cheapest Rates by ZIP Code

The Consumer Federation of America found in a study that insurance companies set prices different, sometimes drastically, based on the ZIP codes of their consumers. Even adjacent ZIP codes might have differences in hundreds of dollars.

Under the new car insurance reform law, insurance companies are banned from using ZIP codes to set rates. There are loopholes, ones that were quickly criticized, including the use of other territorial measures like census tracts or political district.

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Find your ZIP code on the map above to see the average rates.

Like with the implementation of all laws, it is uncertain how much the information will be changed. Still, you might still find it helpful.

Cheapest Rates by City

Like with ZIP codes, census tracts, or political district, rates will vary according to the city.

The reason for the changes is often cited as risk. Some areas have higher probabilities of accidents, tickets, thefts, and other factors that raise the number of claims that are filed.

This risk raises the rates overall for a ZIP code, census tract, political district, or city.

Let’s take a look at the 10 cheapest cities in Michigan:

10 Least Expensive Cities in Michigan Average Rate in CityMost Expensive CompanyMost Expensive RateCheapest CompanyCheapest Rate
St. Louis$7,916.29Allstate$17,625.93USAA$3,489.43
Grand Ledge$8,153.32Allstate$17,357.46USAA$3,581.27
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And, conversely, here are the 10 most expensive:

10 Most Expensive Cities in Michigan Average by CityMost Expensive CompanyMost Expensive RateCheapest CompanyCheapest Rate
River Rouge$19,405.58Farmers$38,258.61USAA$4,904.33
Harper Woods$19,225.22Farmers$40,532.15USAA$4,601.02
Oak Park$18,716.04Allstate$40,770.62USAA$4,786.60
Lathrup Village$16,742.91Allstate$33,371.80USAA$4,294.61
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Rates in State’s 10 Largest Cities

Often, some of the biggest cities have the highest overall rates. Is this the case for Michigan?

Grand Rapids193,792Kent$9,020.04
Sterling Heights131,741Macomb$13,315.84
Ann Arbor117,770Washtenaw$8,395.25
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Mostly, no. There are three tiers of cities based on their insurance rates.

  • $20,000 or over: Detroit, Dearborn
  • $16,000-$13,000: Flint, Warren, Sterling Heights
  • $11,000 or under: Troy, Livonia, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor

Detroit, Dearborn, and Livonia are all in Wayne County. Warren and Sterling Heights are both in Macomb.

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Best State Car Insurance Companies

Progressive has Flo. Geico has the gecko. State Farm has half the former Houston Rockets team. You know their mascots and they bring the funny, all while telling you their latest deals. But how much do you know about them really?

Insurance companies can be something of a mystery. Many have been around for one hundred years, but they are something of a monolith. Here, we dispel that mystery.

In this section, you’ll find parts of the companies that are difficult to find.

  • Financial ratings
  • Customer satisfaction ratings
  • Total complaints and complaint indexes

And, of course, their rates by five different factors. We’re heading around bend two. Give it a little gas.

The Largest Companies’ Financial Ratings

Just like you have a credit score, companies have financial ratings. These financial ratings show how trustworthy companies are in repaying their debts and how solvent they are. Solvent means the financial health of the company.

These ratings come from AM Best, which is a major worldwide credit rating agency. An A stands for an excellent ability in meeting their financial obligations. Anything above an A is a superior ability.

CompanyAM Best Rating
Liberty MutualA
State FarmA++
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Every major company in Michigan has at least an excellent rating. Geico, State Farm, and USAA all have the highest rating possible at A++.

Companies With Best Ratings

Along with financial ratings are customer satisfaction. These come from J.D. Power, which does a car insurance study every year. In this study, they look at customer satisfaction for different regions around the country.

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We’ll look at the North Central Region, which includes Michigan.

JD Power north central auto insurance rating

Of the companies we’re looking at, only USAA, State Farm, and Geico are above average. Nationwide and Progressive are around average. All other companies are lower.

As a cross-reference, USAA, State Farm, and Geico are the three companies with the highest financial ratings. The three lowest companies in the J.D. Power survey are Farmers, Travelers, and Liberty Mutual. They have the lowest financial ratings.

Companies with Most Complaints in Michigan

There are financial ratings and customer satisfaction ratings. Then there are consumer complaints.

These numbers come from the National Association for Insurance Commissioners and its section for consumers. All are a complaint index, meaning the number of complaints is weighed against the number of premiums written.

The complaints are taken from available data from state insurance departments around the country.

CompanyComplaint IndexTotal Complaints
Liberty Mutual0.94146
State Farm0.571,397
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Some have very few complaints. Others have a great deal. Complaint indexes range from .20 to 1.26.

  • Best three: Travelers, Nationwide, State Farm
  • In the middle: Progressive, Geico, Liberty Mutual
  • Worst three: Farmers, USAA, Allstate

USAA, State Farm, and Geico are scattered between the three sections. USAA, which had the highest customer satisfaction rating of all companies, has the second-worst complaint index.

Travelers, which had the second-worst customer satisfaction rating had the best complaint index.

Cheapest Companies in Michigan

Rates in Michigan are some of the highest in the country. Which company is the cheapest?

The data below comes from our partner Quadrant Data. This will be the case for the next six sections as we cover rates based on different factors like coverage level and commute times.

CompanyAnnual AverageCompared to State Average (+/-)Compared to Srate Average (%)
Allstate F&C$22,821.42$12,394.6654.31%
Farmers Ins Exch$8,275.23-$2,151.53-26.00%
GEICO Ind$6,382.54-$4,044.22-63.36%
Liberty Mutual Fire$19,913.09$9,486.3347.64%
Nationwide Mutual Fire$6,287.43-$4,139.33-65.84%
Progressive Marathon$5,354.18-$5,072.58-94.74%
State Farm Mutual Auto$12,481.81$2,055.0516.46%
Travelers Affinity$8,707.10-$1,719.67-19.75%
USAA CIC$3,618.06-$6,808.70-188.19%
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The annual averages range from $3,600 to $22,800. The cheapest is USAA, nearly 190 percent below average. The most expensive is Allstate, about 54 percent above average.

There are six below $10,000: USAA, Progressive, Nationwide, Geico, Farmers, and Travelers.

The other three are well above $10,000 and the annual average.

Commute Rates by Companies

Commute rates and your average annual mileage can affect your rates. Some companies change rates depending on those factors and some don’t. Which companies do for Michigan?

CompanyCommute and Annual MileageAnnual Average
Allstate10 miles commute | 6,000 annual mileage$22,821.42
Allstate25 miles commute | 12,000 annual mileage$22,821.42
Farmers10 miles commute | 6,000 annual mileage$8,275.23
Farmers25 miles commute | 12,000 annual mileage$8,275.23
GEICO10 miles commute | 6,000 annual mileage$6,236.05
GEICO25 miles commute | 12,000 annual mileage$6,529.03
Liberty Mutual10 miles commute | 6,000 annual mileage$19,223.85
Liberty Mutual25 miles commute | 12,000 annual mileage$20,602.33
Nationwide10 miles commute | 6,000 annual mileage$6,287.43
Nationwide25 miles commute | 12,000 annual mileage$6,287.43
Progressive10 miles commute | 6,000 annual mileage$5,354.18
Progressive25 miles commute | 12,000 annual mileage$5,354.18
State Farm10 miles commute | 6,000 annual mileage$12,142.23
State Farm25 miles commute | 12,000 annual mileage$12,821.40
Travelers10 miles commute | 6,000 annual mileage$8,657.15
Travelers25 miles commute | 12,000 annual mileage$8,757.05
USAA10 miles commute | 6,000 annual mileage$3,576.60
USAA25 miles commute | 12,000 annual mileage$3,659.52
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USAA, Geico, Travelers, State Farm, and Liberty Mutual change their rates. Liberty Mutual changes them the most, about a $1,400 difference. USAA changes them the least, about an $85 difference.

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Coverage Level Rates by Companies

Coverage levels vary according to the coverage limits and type of coverage.

Coverage limits are the amounts a company will pay out if you’re in an accident. A $40,000 bodily injury liability plan will cost less than an $80,000 bodily injury liability plan.

Types of coverage include adding more coverage to the mandatory minimum. Adding comprehensive and collision will cost more than if you just went with liability.

Some companies charge over $1000 more for a high-level plan. For some companies, the price difference between a high-level plan and a low-level plan is less than $500.

CompanyCoverage TypeAnnual Average
Liberty MutualHigh$20,418.71
Liberty MutualMedium$19,868.02
Liberty MutualLow$19,452.55
State FarmHigh$13,040.02
State FarmMedium$12,560.38
State FarmLow$11,845.05
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The most expensive companies overall charge at least $1,000 more for a high-level plan. Many of the cheapest companies charge $200 or less for a high-level plan.

State Farm has the biggest price difference at around $1,200. Travelers has the smallest at around $170.

Credit History Rates by Companies

Your credit score affects your rates, sometimes drastically. As Consumer Reports notes in its Good Morning America video, a poor credit score often causes higher rates than a DUI infraction.

Under new Michigan law, insurance companies are prohibited from using credit scores to set customer rates. However, as the Detroit Free Press writes, “they can use credit reports, which would show whether a person has a history of making late payments.”

It’s one of the loopholes in the new Michigan reform law.

CompanyCredit HistoryAnnual Average
Liberty MutualGood$10,042.90
Liberty MutualFair$18,192.56
Liberty MutualPoor$31,503.82
State FarmGood$6,948.71
State FarmFair$10,240.44
State FarmPoor$20,256.29
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The company with the largest price difference between a poor credit score and a good credit score is Liberty Mutual for about $21,500. The company with the smallest price difference is Travelers at a little less than $400.

Averaged, a poor credit score raises rates by about $8,000 compared to a good score.

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From good to fair, the rate raise is about $2,200. From fair to poor, it is almost $6,000. And a poor score increases rates about $4,500 above the average.

Driving Record Rates by Companies

Your driving record affects your rates. But by how much?

CompanyDriving RecordAnnual Average
AllstateClean record$11,113.69
AllstateWith 1 accident$14,863.20
AllstateWith 1 DUI$49,760.80
AllstateWith 1 speeding violation$15,547.99
FarmersClean record$6,933.96
FarmersWith 1 accident$8,878.82
FarmersWith 1 DUI$8,748.36
FarmersWith 1 speeding violation$8,539.80
GEICOClean record$2,247.29
GEICOWith 1 accident$4,746.86
GEICOWith 1 DUI$14,384.88
GEICOWith 1 speeding violation$4,151.13
Liberty MutualClean record$13,939.21
Liberty MutualWith 1 accident$16,814.63
Liberty MutualWith 1 DUI$31,057.16
Liberty MutualWith 1 speeding violation$17,841.37
NationwideClean record$5,376.80
NationwideWith 1 accident$7,181.07
NationwideWith 1 DUI$6,532.75
NationwideWith 1 speeding violation$6,059.11
ProgressiveClean record$4,533.62
ProgressiveWith 1 accident$5,964.06
ProgressiveWith 1 DUI$5,361.42
ProgressiveWith 1 speeding violation$5,557.63
State FarmClean record$7,942.35
State FarmWith 1 accident$9,521.29
State FarmWith 1 DUI$20,573.92
State FarmWith 1 speeding violation$11,889.70
TravelersClean record$5,891.56
TravelersWith 1 accident$8,413.93
TravelersWith 1 DUI$13,556.16
TravelersWith 1 speeding violation$6,966.74
USAAClean record$2,910.44
USAAWith 1 accident$3,631.64
USAAWith 1 DUI$4,758.07
USAAWith 1 speeding violation$3,172.10
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The first 12 rows are above $10,000. This includes Liberty Mutual and Allstate at clean records. In comparison to this number, some people will pay less in mortgage payments per year than that.

A DUI seems to be the most costly, with the three highest rates for DUI infractions. The big leaper is Geico, which has the fourth-lowest annual rates. It jumps into the top 12 with a rate of $14,400 for a DUI infraction.

How does this all average out?

Clean Record1 Accident1 DUI1 Speeding Ticket
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A DUI raises rates about $10,000 from a clean record. Rates for 1 Accident and 1 Speeding Ticket are about even, $2,000 above a clean record.

Largest Car Insurance Companies in Michigan

The largest companies in Michigan show the influence of state-wide groups and lesser-known companies.

CompanyDirect Premiums WrittenLoss RatioMarket Share
State Farm Group$1,662,966.5318.54%
Automobile Club MI Group$1,421,2531.0915.84%
Progressive Group$1,261,150.6914.06%
Auto-Owners Group$888,716.919.91%
Allstate Insurance Group$731,9161.108.16%
The Hanover Insurance Group$535,020.685.96%
Michigan Farm Bureau Group$410,895.664.58%
Liberty Mutual Group$390,079.674.35%
USAA Group$271,157.893.02%
Frankenmuth Group$157,962.661.76%
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State Farm is the top company with 18.5 percent of the market share. But within the top 10, there are four groups with little national presence. Those are the Automobile Club, Michigan Farm Bureau, Hanover, and Frankenmuth.

None of those four is in the top 10 of insurance providers nationwide. Geico, Nationwide, Travelers, and Farmers are all missing from the top 10 in Michigan.

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Number of Insurers by Michigan

A domestic insurer is a company that was founded and does business solely in its state. Think of your mom and pop insurance company. There are 65 in Michigan.

A foreign insurer is a company that was founded out-of-state and does business in multiple states. These include big chains like State Farm and Geico. There are 786 in Michigan.

For legal purposes, there is no difference. However, if you planning to move out of state and want to take your plan with you, you’ll have better luck with a foreign insurer.

Michigan Laws

State laws can be confusing. Poring over the legal documents, parsing through the text on city websites, and researching dozens of sources can be difficult. We understand.

We’ve put together this section to take the complexity out of state laws. We strive to make this easier to understand.

In this section, we cover car insurance laws, vehicle licensing laws, rules of the road, and safety laws. Essentially, everything from high-risk insurance to penalties for DUIs. And a lot in-between.

Car Insurance Laws

Car insurance laws are like the roast beef of state laws: delicious, filling, and good for building protein.

Here, you’ll learn how insurance commissioners protect consumers, high-risk insurance options, fraud, and how long you have to file a civil suit after an accident.

Grab a fork and get ready to dig in.

How State Laws for Insurance Are Determined

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, there are seven ways in which states regulate rates. In Michigan, the method is called file and use.

This means that an insurance company must file new rates with the state department before putting them into action. This keeps rates from running rampant, although Michigan drivers might disagree with this.

While this is a method, a state may also pass new laws to regulate car insurance rates. Michigan has done this over the past year. Hopefully, there will be some relief for drivers.

Windshield Coverage puts together all the state laws regulating replacements of windshields for easy reading. It cites two Michigan statutes: 500.2110b and 257.1363.

From 500.2110b, an insurance company may not unreasonably restrict you from choosing your own repair shop. But you may have to pay extra for the repairs and products.

From 257.1363, an insurance company may request after-market products, but the repair shop must provide an estimate in writing.

High-Risk Insurance

If you’re in an accident and have no insurance, your license may be suspended and you might be required to get high-risk insurance.

This high-risk insurance is called financial responsibility insurance in Michigan. There are two types: owner’s and operator’s. Owner’s insurance protects the owner of a vehicle. Operator’s protects the operator in any vehicle they don’t own.

This is according to Michigan’s Office of Secretary of State.

To get approved for financial responsibility insurance, you must apply through your insurance company. They will gather the documents and file with the state department. This process takes two to four weeks.

If you aren’t approved, there is one last-ditch market available: the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility. Prices will be higher here, most likely, than the voluntary market. This because the applicants are all high-risk drivers.

If you get financial responsibility insurance, you are eligible for a financial-responsibility restricted license.

Low-Cost Insurance

Michigan does not have a low-cost insurance plan. Only California, Hawaii, and New Jersey do.

Automobile Insurance Fraud in Michigan

Fraud costs property and casualty insurance companies $30 billion per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

The penalty for committing insurance fraud in Michigan is a felony charge, up to four years and jail and a $50,000 fine.

The Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is the fraud reporting bureau in Michigan.

They list several ways in which a person might commit fraud. These include fake bodily injury claims, misreported mileage, and exaggerated medical expenses.

If you suspect fraud and would like to report, you can visit this fraud reporting page or call the DIFS at 877-999-6442.

Statute of Limitations

When you’re in an accident, you have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit. This is called the Statute of Limitations and is covered in Michigan Statute 600.8505. It reads,

“Except as otherwise provided in this section, the period of limitations is three years after the time of the death or injury for all actions to recover damages for the death of a person or for injury to a person or property.”

This three-year limit for filing personal injury or property damage lawsuits is useful to know in Michigan. Because of its no-fault rules, damages in major accidents can only be recouped in a lawsuit.

State Specific Laws

Aside from its sudden overhaul of the car insurance system in Michigan, there is one unique aspect to Michigan car insurance since 1978. It’s called the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA).

It was started because insurance companies had trouble obtaining reinsurance for no-fault policies, which provided unlimited lifetime medical benefits for people in catastrophic accidents.

Today, the MCCA collects assessments from every auto or motorcycle insurer in Michigan. This assessment is per $220 per vehicle as of the 2019-2020 year. However, this assessment often gets passed to consumers in the mandatory PIP coverage.

The new law makes PIP coverage an option if you have medical insurance that covers accidents. However, you will still have to pay your share into the fund according to Michigan Auto Law.

Vehicle Licensing Laws

Vehicle licensing laws are like the potatoes of state laws: they are filling, nutritious, and kind of bland.

In this section, we’ll cover topics that may be a little less exciting but are still important to know. They can keep you away from fines and hassle. The last topic can keep you out of jail time.

Real ID

In 2005, as a result of September 11th, Congress passed the REAL ID Act. It set out minimum identification requirements for people looking to access federal facilities, such as nuclear plants and airplanes.

The Department of Homeland Security eventually took over to enforce the REAL ID Act. It pushed forth numerous deadlines that provided a timeline for states to comply with the Act. Today, all but four states have complied.

Michigan is one that has. This gives residents of Michigan access to the new, security-enhanced driver’s licenses. These are needed to fly domestically beginning October 1, 2020.

Written on the Michigan Secretary of State’s website,

“To apply for a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card, you’ll need to bring your valid U.S. passport or certified birth certificate with a raised seal or stamp to any Secretary of State office. Other documents verifying legal presence are accepted.”

If you apply for the security-enhanced driver’s license in-between renewals, there will be a duplicate card fee charged.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

Penalties for driving without insurance are stiff in many states. Is it the same in Michigan?

OffenseFineLicense Suspension (if in an accident/traffic violation)Jail Time
Misdemeanor$200 - $50030 days or until proof of insuranceUp to one year
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They are and there are possible reasons for this. Uninsured motorists can cost the state a great deal of money. They might not be able to pay for property damage caused in an accident. They might not be able to pay for their own car or medical bills.

This can lead to serious financial damage. The penalties are stiff accordingly.

Teen Driver Laws

Every teen thinks about the day they will get a car. A car means freedom, the ability to go where they want to go, to spend time away from their parents’ house.

In Michigan, there are regulations for both the learner’s permit and the unrestricted driver’s license. This data on driver’s license graduating requirements comes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Minimum AgeMandatory Holding PeriodMinimum Amount of Supervised DrivingMinimum Age for DL
14 years, 9 months6 months50 hours, 10 at night16
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A teen can get a learner’s permit earlier than in many other states but still most wait until 16 to get a driver’s license. Someone who starts their learner’s permit must wait six months before applying for a driver’s license.

Unsupervised Driving ProhibitedRestrictions on PassengersNighttime RestrictionsPassenger Restrictions
10pm - 5amNo more than 1 passenger under 216 months and age 17 or until age 186 months and age 17 or until age 18
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Michigan has strict regulations regarding nighttime driving for those on a restricted license. The restrictions lift after a person has had the license for six months and turns 17. For everyone, the restrictions lift at age 18.

Older Driver License Renewal Procedures

Older drivers have challenges on the road that many younger persons don’t face. The National Institute on Aging lists six: stiff joints and muscles, trouble seeing, trouble hearing, dementia, slower reaction time and reflexes, and medications.

Possibly for these reasons, companies offer specific insurance plans for people over 50.

Now, in Michigan, do they have different renewal procedures than the younger population? This data on license renewal procedures also comes from the IIHS.

Renewal CycleProof of Adequate Vision RequiredMail/Online Renewal Permitted
4 yearsEvery renewalNo
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Stringent procedures. We’ll see if this varies compared to the general population two sections down.

New Residents

Congratulations: You’ve moved to Michigan. You’re ready to see all the amazing lakes, the state parks, the Motown record studios, and the car manufacturing museums. But first, there’s some red-tape you have to walk through.

On the car insurance side, there is the vehicle titling, vehicle licensing, and driver’s license procedures. The good news? You won’t have time to procrastinate. The bad news? You must do these things the moment you establish residency.

As written on the Secretary of State’s website, “New Michigan residents must title and register their vehicles immediately. There is no grace period provided in Michigan law.”

This includes the driver’s license. But, once you’re finished, you’ll have time to take in some of the sites like The Great Lakes.

License Renewal Procedures

Back to that question: are older driver license renewal procedures different than the general population?

Renewal CycleProof of Adequate Vision RequiredMail/Online Renewal Permitted
4 yearsEvery renewalNo
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The answer is no. The procedures are strict for everyone.

Reckless Driving

We know it when we see it: that car driving at 90 miles per hour, weaving in and out of traffic. We think, that person’s driving recklessly. Usually, there are steep penalties for that. So how about in Michigan?

Statute 257.626 defines reckless driving as “a person who operates a vehicle upon a highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond or other place open to the general public…in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property….”

What is willful or wanton disregard? Generally, we know it when we see it.

The violation is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 93 days in jail and a fine of not more than $500.

The Dave J. Kramer Law Firm notes additional punishments for the misdemeanor charge. These include six points off your driving record, license suspension for 90 days, $1,000 in driver responsibility fees, and vehicle forfeiture or immobilization.

If a person’s reckless driving causes serious bodily or death, the violation moves up to a felony with fines up to $10,000 and jail time up to 15 years. The additional punishments are more severe as well, including license revocation.

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Rules of the Road

Rules of the road are like the minestrone soup of state laws: easy to eat and with a variety of vegetables. Meaning, there is something for everyone.

There is the section on seat belts, which save lives. There is a section on speed limits, which can keep you from getting a ticket. And there’s the ridesharing section, for you busy drivers.

We start with the reason Michigan’s insurance is so high: fault versus no-fault.

Fault vs. No-Fault

Michigan car insurance is high. It consistently ranks in the top two states for the highest car insurance. Why is this so?

Michigan is a no-fault state. This means that when an accident occurs, every driver contacts their own insurance company for damages. With the minimum insurance coverage, that just means your medical bills.

The other driver in a no-fault state or their insurance company is not responsible for damages to your car. There is just one exception: when your car is properly parked. This means for your car to be repaired, you’d need collision insurance.

Why is liability insurance mandatory then, you might ask? In a no-fault state, there is still the chance you might be sued and found responsible for an accident in a court of law. Then you’d be responsible for the other person’s medical bills and property damage.

That’s when the liability would kick in. Confused yet?

The confusion is one of the reasons some people are not happy with no-fault states. And to top it off, these states have some of the highest car insurance rates in the country. Why?

A few reasons. No-fault states can lead to rampant fraud, as you file directly with your company to get damages. One of these types of fraud is through the personal injury protection policy. As the Insurance Information Institute writes,

“In a number of no-fault states, PIP coverage is being exploited by fraud rings that include phony pain clinics and corrupt physicians, chiropractors and lawyers, particularly in states where PIP benefits are generous.”

There is also a high-cost to filing no-fault claims, which gets passed down to consumers. The MCCA assessment also gets passed down to consumers, often in the form of their PIP premiums. This is an additional couple hundred dollars.

With high premiums come issues, including more uninsured motorists. Michigan is ranked fourth in the nation. The leader is Florida, another no-fault state.

The fortunate part?

This reform law is being touted as lowering rates and providing relief to residents of Michigan. It provides stricter measures on companies for when they set rates.

It doesn’t do away with the no-fault system. But it provides boundaries that should keep some elements in check.

Seat Belt and Car Seat laws

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an organization that looks at everything from risky driving behaviors to total traffic fatalities in the country. According to it, in 2017 seat belts saved around 15,000 lives. It writes,

“One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up.”

So what is the law in Michigan? This seat belt and car seat data come from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Initial Effective DatePrimary EnforcementWho Is Covered/What SeatsMaximum 1st Fine
July 1st, 1985Yes16+ years in front seat$25
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Everyone over 16 years of age must be buckled up in the front seats. There are other laws for people age 15 or under.

Child Restraint Facing RearAdult Belt PermissibleMaximum FinePreference for Rear Seat
7 years and younger and less than 57 inches8 through 15 years; children who are at least 57 inches tall$103 years and younger must be in the rear seat if available
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There are a few rules for small children. And kids and young teenagers must be buckled up regardless of where they’re sitting. At least the seat belt law is primary enforcement. This means that the police can pull you over for just that, without another crime.

Keep Right and Move Over Laws

No one likes a slowpoke. In Michigan, drivers are required to keep right, with a few exceptions. These are spelled out in Statute 257.634.

  • When overtaking or passing another vehicle
  • When the right lane is closed to traffic or an obstruction
  • When police or a government agency is on the side of the road
  • When there are three or more lanes of traffic

There is one last exception: when a driver is making a left turn ahead.

Speed Limits

Speed kills. In 2017, speeding was implicated in 26 percent of fatal crashes according to the NHTSA. This amounted to nearly 10,000 deaths. So, what is the speed limit law in Michigan? These speed limit regulations come from the IIHS.

Type of RoadwaySpeed Limit
Rural Interstate70, 75 on specified segments
Urban Interstate70
Other Limited Access Roads70
Other Roads55
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On interstates and limited access roads, it’s generally 70 miles per hour. The only exception is on certain portions of rural interstates.

For non-interstate roads, the speed limit is 55 miles per hour. However, in 2017, the Department of Transportation raised the speed limits on some of the non-interstate due to the results of an engineering study. The new limits were put into place in early 2018.


There are no specific companies listed for ridesharing insurance in Michigan. However, you can always check around. Certain companies like USAA, State Farm, and Nationwide already have coverages. Others are likely rolling them out.

It’s on a state by state basis so make sure to ask your agent or call around.

Automation on the Road

Autonomous cars are a thing of the future, quickly becoming the present. With companies like Tesla, GM, Ford, and Honda all looking to roll out autonomous cars soon, states are putting in regulations for their use. So, what are the laws in Michigan?

Type of Automation That Is Permitted on Public Roads?Operator Required To Be Licensed?Operator Required To Be in the Vehicle?Liability Insurance Required?
Depends on vehicleYesNoYes
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No operator required in the vehicle, but liability insurance is required and the operator must be licensed.

Safety Laws

Safety laws are like the swordfish of state laws: good and tasty but eat too much and you’ll get mercury poisoning.

The following sections cover the major causes leading to car accidents fatalities. They are about excess. Do them once and it’s a problem. Do them four or five times and a serious situation could occur.

OWIs, marijuana-impaired driving, and driving distracted. Put that napkin over your shirt. We’re about to eat some delicious fish.

OWI Laws

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been around since the 1970s. It has fought for tougher laws against drunk driving and more awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving.

According to it, drunk driving leads to 30 deaths and 300,000 incidents per day. It is still the number one cause of deaths on the roadways.

In Michigan, the legal term for a drunk driving charge is an OWI or operating while intoxicated. The first violation starts at .8. The second and more serious charge starts at .17.

The first two convictions for an OWI are unclassified offenses but are misdemeanors. The third and over are felonies.

The washout or look back period is seven years for the second offense and unlimited or lifetime for the third or more. The penalties overall in Michigan are steep. The following information comes from Michigan’s page on drinking and driving.

Michigan OWI Penalties1st OWI2nd OWI3rd OWI
Community Service30-90 days (in lieu of jail time)30-90 days (in lieu of jail time)-
Licension Suspensionmandatory 6 months
may be eligible for restricted license after 30 days
1 year minimum
5 year minimum if prior revocation in 7 years
1 year minimum
5 year minimum if prior revocation in 7 years
Jail Time5 days - 1 year5 days - 1 year1-5 years
$1000 driver responsibility fee
$1000 driver responsibility fee
Other6 points on record
possible IID
license plate confiscation
vehicle immobilization 90-180 days
6 points on license
license plate confiscation
vehicle immobilization 1-3 years
vehicle registration denial
possible vehicle forfeiture
6 points on license
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There are quadruple hits, including jail time, fines, license suspensions, and punishments like vehicle immobilization. All of these punishments grow more severe if a drunk driver is in a car that seriously injures or kills someone.

Michigan, fortunately, is not high in the ranks fo OWI arrests compared to other states. This information comes from the FBI.

Total ArrestsRate Per 1 MillionState Rank
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There are sub-groups more susceptible to this kind of behavior. One of them is teenagers, which we’ll be talking about later.

Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws

Marijuana can impair senses, slow reaction time, and make it difficult to focus on the road. According to, Michigan has a zero-tolerance policy for THC. Driving while under the influence of CBD is not a crime.

Distracted Driving Laws

Distracted driving can cost lives. According to the NHTSA, over 3,000 people lost their lives due to distracted driving in 2017. Some states are reacting accordingly, creating hand-held bans in cars and texting bans.

In Michigan, the laws are standard. This information on cell phone regulations comes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Hand-held BanYoung Drivers All Cellphone BanTexting BanPrimary Enforcement
Nolearner's permit and intermediate license holders (level 1 and 2)
integrated voice-operated systems excepted
all driversprimary
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There is a texting ban, but there is no handheld ban. This can make the texting ban harder to enforce, as a person can say they were doing something else with their phone.

The regulations are in line with many other states.

Driving Safely in Michigan

There are many factors that influence safety on the road. Low visibility, speeding, drunk drivers, weather conditions can all impact how you drive and how safe you are.

This chapter tries to illuminate these issues. We show you the statistics on vehicle fatalities based on cause and context. We share the most dangerous road in Michigan. And we cover vehicle theft so that you can be more protected.

At the end, we touch on transportation, such as commute times and traffic.

We’re in the final section now.

Vehicle Theft in Michigan

Vehicle theft is a serious crime and a stressful experience for the victims. In Michigan, some cars are stolen more than others.

Make/ModelYear of VehicleThefts
Chevrolet Impala2008733
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)1999585
Ford Pickup (Full Size)2006530
Dodge Caravan2003528
Dodge Charger2015477
Chevrolet Trailblazer2007462
Chevrolet Malibu2013451
Pontiac Grand Prix2004418
Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee2000407
Ford Fusion2014355
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Chevy vehicles occupy four out of the top seven spots. Some cities in Michigan have more car thefts than others as well.

CityPopulationMotor Vehicle Thefts
Addison Township6,5425
Adrian Township6,2891
Allen Park27,06260
Ann Arbor121,93099
Argentine Township6,5442
Au Gres8480
Auburn Hills23,03426
Bad Axe2,9563
Baroda-Lake Township3,7623
Barry Township3,4312
Bath Township12,7594
Battle Creek60,85294
Bay City33,28659
Benton Harbor9,89933
Benton Township14,35447
Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township9,0392
Beverly Hills10,5040
Big Rapids10,4371
Birch Run1,4520
Blackman Township36,90843
Bloomfield Hills4,0213
Bloomfield Township42,29124
Boyne City3,7417
Brandon Township15,7524
Bridgeport Township9,9095
Brown City1,2461
Brownstown Township31,10235
Buena Vista Township8,08414
Cambridge Township5,6431
Canton Township90,29457
Carrollton Township5,7282
Carson City1,1070
Cass City2,3222
Center Line8,30430
Central Lake9290
Chesterfield Township45,21232
Chikaming Township3,0831
Chocolay Township5,9483
Clay Township8,8453
Clayton Township7,1133
Clinton Township100,999155
Coloma Township6,3621
Columbia Township7,3793
Commerce Township38,34211
Covert Township2,8313
Crystal Falls1,3800
Davison Township19,0294
Dearborn Heights55,454132
Denton Township5,3241
Dewitt Township14,7994
Dryden Township4,7672
East Grand Rapids11,8124
East Jordan2,3480
East Lansing48,920137
Eaton Rapids5,2305
Eau Claire6131
Elk Rapids1,6100
Emmett Township11,61917
Erie Township4,3590
Fair Haven Township1,0370
Farmington Hills81,35977
Flat Rock9,82115
Flint Township30,28495
Flushing Township10,1722
Forsyth Township6,1895
Fruitport Township14,13811
Gaines Township6,1393
Garden City26,57138
Garfield Township8120
Genesee Township20,25311
Gerrish Township2,9021
Grand Beach2790
Grand Blanc7,9045
Grand Blanc Township36,63024
Grand Haven11,00411
Grand Ledge7,8094
Grand Rapids197,868363
Green Oak Township18,8397
Grosse Ile Township10,0841
Grosse Pointe5,1515
Grosse Pointe Farms9,1063
Grosse Pointe Park11,06113
Grosse Pointe Shores2,9040
Grosse Pointe Woods15,56620
Hamburg Township21,8975
Hampton Township9,5229
Harbor Beach1,6021
Harbor Springs1,2080
Harper Woods13,65373
Hazel Park16,55160
Highland Park10,757104
Highland Township19,91214
Huntington Woods6,3433
Huron Township15,63618
Imlay City3,5771
Independence Township36,83611
Iron Mountain7,3970
Iron River2,8380
Kalamazoo Township24,59057
Keego Harbor3,0302
Kinross Township7,3961
Lake Angelus2970
Lake Linden9900
Lake Odessa2,0351
Lake Orion3,0582
Lansing Township8,15020
Lapeer Township5,0580
Lathrup Village4,1262
Lincoln Park36,502156
Lincoln Township14,4605
Luna Pier1,3681
Lyon Township19,8904
Mackinac Island4750
Mackinaw City8010
Madison Heights30,15259
Madison Township8,4708
Marenisco Township1,5990
Marine City4,1082
Meridian Township42,87830
Metamora Township4,2502
Metro Police Authority of Genesee County20,0017
Montrose Township7,4665
Mount Morris2,9186
Mount Morris Township20,36534
Mount Pleasant26,36618
Muskegon Heights10,78647
Muskegon Township17,84225
Napoleon Township6,7272
New Baltimore12,4014
New Buffalo1,8701
New Era4430
New Lothrop5550
North Muskegon3,7941
Northfield Township8,6341
Northville Township28,75115
Norton Shores24,40227
Oak Park29,69874
Oakland Township19,2412
Ontwa Township-Edwardsburg6,4878
Orchard Lake2,4310
Orion Township35,85711
Oscoda Township6,8312
Oxford Township18,3653
Paw Paw3,4353
Pittsfield Township39,06131
Pleasant Ridge2,5552
Plymouth Township26,77922
Port Austin6280
Port Huron29,09237
Port Sanilac5910
Prairieville Township3,4520
Raisin Township7,6190
Redford Township46,867212
Reed City2,3790
Richfield Township, Genesee County8,2704
Richfield Township, Roscommon County3,6071
Richland Township, Saginaw County3,9340
River Rouge7,41727
Rochester Hills73,82718
Rogers City2,6761
Roosevelt Park3,8269
Royal Oak59,30351
Saginaw Township39,31926
Sand Lake5270
Sault Ste. Marie13,6309
Shelby Township79,21731
Somerset Township4,5560
South Haven4,3628
South Lyon11,7774
South Rockwood1,6381
Spring Arbor Township7,9741
Springfield Township14,3418
St. Charles1,9251
St. Clair5,3501
St. Clair Shores59,78245
St. Ignace2,3662
St. Johns7,9382
St. Joseph8,2764
St. Joseph Township9,8136
St. Louis6,9941
Sterling Heights132,882107
Sumpter Township9,2158
Sylvan Lake1,8411
Thetford Township6,6561
Thomas Township11,4502
Three Rivers7,69515
Tittabawassee Township9,7763
Traverse City15,61714
Tuscarora Township2,9462
Unadilla Township3,4353
Van Buren Township27,91169
Walled Lake7,1042
Waterford Township73,06068
West Bloomfield Township65,94816
West Branch2,0520
White Cloud1,3720
White Lake Township31,01612
White Pigeon1,5091
Wolverine Lake4,5861
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Often, the most populous cities have the most vehicle thefts. That is no different in Michigan with Detroit leading the way at over 8,100, the only city in the thousands. Grand Rapids, Warren, Kalamazoo, and Warren are also big cities with leading theft counts.

Search for your city in the bar above the table.

Road Fatalities in Michigan

There are numerous factors that affect vehicle fatality rates. We’re going to go over eight, with looks at the most fatal highway in the state and trends by county.

Let’s start with the most fatal highway.

Most Fatal Highway in Michigan

This information comes from Geotab, which created a list of the most dangerous roadways per state in America. To do this, it analyzed data from the NHTSA and the Federal Highway Administration.

Michigan’s most fatal highway is 33rd on the list. What is it? I-31.

I-31 has a .5 fatal crash rate. From a 10-year-period ending in 2017, there were 111 crashes for 123 fatalities.

I-31 runs alongside Lake Michigan. Many of the highways in the list run along-side bodies of water, where the view can be pretty, distracting, and cause crashes.

Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition

Even though there is 60 percent less traffic, 40 percent of fatal crashes happen at night. This, according to Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers. Nighttime driving poses challenges such as limited visibility, drowsiness, and drunk drivers.

Do these statistics include Michigan as well? This data comes from WPMU.

Weather ConditionDaylightDark, But LightedDarkDawn or DuskOther / UnknownTotal
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Fatal crashes during the daylight and during times with limited visibility were about even. There were 155 accidents that occurred during inclement weather conditions. Overall, 939 fatal crashes occurred.

Fatalities (All Crashes) by County

Certain counties have more fatalities than others. This data comes from the National Traffic Safety Administration STSI report for Michigan.

Alcona County101226
Alger County6022111
Allegan County161414161373
Alpena County2221310
Antrim County3335418
Arenac County7221719
Baraga County301105
Barry County1112741145
Bay County10101510550
Benzie County3542014
Berrien County241418202096
Branch County4789230
Calhoun County1814252619102
Cass County1271591558
Charlevoix County3221311
Cheboygan County5405317
Chippewa County7364222
Clare County5238321
Clinton County59513234
Crawford County3412414
Delta County52321022
Dickinson County1013510
Eaton County121115111463
Emmet County4345218
Genesee County2933335038183
Gladwin County2362316
Gogebic County111238
Grand Traverse County1471115855
Gratiot County3482522
Hillsdale County31035526
Houghton County3131210
Huron County9647632
Ingham County1721172526106
Ionia County83671034
Iosco County3131311
Iron County220419
Isabella County4121661250
Jackson County141715182084
Kalamazoo County3616273538152
Kalkaska County8234320
Kent County4855645769293
Keweenaw County000000
Lake County131319
Lapeer County11128111153
Leelanau County0247316
Lenawee County14109161665
Livingston County151912222391
Luce County022138
Mackinac County4011410
Macomb County5346616342265
Manistee County5203313
Marquette County3625420
Mason County6435927
Mecosta County8742425
Menominee County2522213
Midland County56931841
Missaukee County3155014
Monroe County2727131823108
Montcalm County610662351
Montmorency County410218
Muskegon County111918211786
Newaygo County77761239
Oakland County5663678069335
Oceana County2145214
Ogemaw County4455523
Ontonagon County011114
Osceola County6372624
Oscoda County000325
Otsego County3473724
Ottawa County1724192717104
Presque Isle County012216
Roscommon County8425322
Saginaw County211023142290
Sanilac County31066530
Schoolcraft County100315
Shiawassee County46814638
St. Clair County141718221485
St. Joseph County1194111146
Tuscola County612561443
Van Buren County20918151779
Washtenaw County3330272639155
Wayne County171174190201161897
Wexford County86109639
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Wayne County, which has Detroit as its county seat, leads the way with nearly 900 fatalities.

Rural vs Urban

Often, rural areas have more fatalities than urban areas. Contributing to rural vehicle fatalities are speeding, dangerous roads, alcohol use, and drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts. Is this the case in Michigan?

Area Type2008200920102011201220132014201520162017Total
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Actually, no. There were 900 more urban vehicle fatalities than urban from 2008 to 2017. Only 2008 and 2015 have more rural fatalities than urban.

A reason might be the urbanization of Michigan in general. While there is a great deal of rural space, there are major cities totaling over 100,000 people in various parts of the state. One of these is Detroit, whose county had 900 fatalities in five years.

Fatalities by Person Type

One way to break fatalities is down is to look at person type. In this case, the statistics are based on what the person was driving or riding in at the time of the wreck.

Person Type20132014201520162017Total
Passenger Car3533353423773871,794
Light Truck - Pickup9188959782453
Light Truck - Utility107119121140141628
Light Truck - Van5042304949220
Large Truck7911121352
Other/Unknown Occupants2216192723107
Total Occupants6316136187036963,261
Light Truck - Other010113
Total Motorcyclists138112141152150693
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist2722333821141
Other/Unknown Nonoccupants3699734
Total Nonoccupants178176208210184956
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Passenger cars are the highest, but pedestrians are a surprise in second. In third are motorcyclists.

Fatalities by Crash Type

Another way to break fatalities down is by crash type.

Crash Type20132014201520162017Total
Total Fatalities9479019671,0651,0304,910
Single Vehicle5234695365435192,590
Involving a Large Truck88987510788456
Involving Speeding2552352642452411,240
Involving a Rollover182182163174224925
Involving a Roadway Departure4644264844684292,271
Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)2412332383222681,302
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Single-vehicle crashes are the highest, but roadway departures are not far behind. In some cases, they are referred to as a double: single-vehicle roadway departure.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), roadway departures account for more than 50 percent of all traffic fatalities. Those fatalities averaged a little more than 19,000 annually from 2015 to 2017.

There have been attempts to solve this issue. These include numerous plans from the FHWA to keep drivers on the road, minimize collisions if they do go off it, and minimize the severity of crashes if they do crash into something.

Roadway departures are in issue in many states, especially rural ones. They can occur on rural windy roads when it’s hard to see and react. They can occur on highways where long drives lead to drowsiness.

Five-Year Trend For The Top 10 Counties

You can also break them down by top 10 counties and see trends. Bear with us: this table isn’t ranked top to bottom. However, total numbers are in the far left column.

Wayne County171174190201161897
Kent County4855645769293
Oakland County5663678069335
Macomb County5346616342265
Washtenaw County3330272639155
Genesee County2933335038183
Kalamazoo County3616273538152
Ingham County1721172526106
Livingston County151912222391
Monroe County2727131823108
Top Ten Counties4984925365905282,644
All Other Counties4494094314755022,266
All Counties9479019671,0651,0304,910
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Kent and Oakland’s fatalities both rose significantly during the time frame. Monroe’s fell.

Overall, the top 10 counties accounted for more fatalities than the rest of the counties in Michigan combined. For the five-year-period for all counties, the fatalities were around 4,900.

Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

Speeding can be a leading cause of traffic fatalities. The NHTSA puts the number of fatalities involving speeding at 26 percent. So what are the statistics for each county in Michigan?

Alcona County100012
Alger County200215
Allegan County3344014
Alpena County111014
Antrim County220206
Arenac County101035
Baraga County100001
Barry County311038
Bay County3450012
Benzie County211004
Berrien County3344115
Branch County021115
Calhoun County73135634
Cass County4431820
Charlevoix County122106
Cheboygan County4203312
Chippewa County420006
Clare County101103
Clinton County031105
Crawford County031116
Delta County101024
Dickinson County100034
Eaton County3275320
Emmet County231017
Genesee County69108639
Gladwin County100001
Gogebic County001012
Grand Traverse County6062115
Gratiot County131005
Hillsdale County060118
Houghton County000011
Huron County121004
Ingham County5637829
Ionia County103239
Iosco County201126
Iron County020417
Isabella County1261212
Jackson County3458424
Kalamazoo County1141281146
Kalkaska County5022211
Kent County91213131663
Keweenaw County000000
Lake County000011
Lapeer County5212111
Leelanau County021519
Lenawee County0234312
Livingston County5625725
Luce County000112
Mackinac County100113
Macomb County1531510851
Manistee County110002
Marquette County110114
Mason County100023
Mecosta County131005
Menominee County230005
Midland County112015
Missaukee County112105
Monroe County5513721
Montcalm County220116
Montmorency County100102
Muskegon County4635624
Newaygo County2031410
Oakland County12108101252
Oceana County010102
Ogemaw County1324313
Ontonagon County000101
Osceola County322007
Oscoda County000101
Otsego County222006
Ottawa County1515214
Presque Isle012115
Roscommon County2125111
Saginaw County6294324
Sanilac County041016
Schoolcraft County100001
Shiawassee County213129
St. Clair6416219
St. Joseph6002513
Tuscola County131106
Van Buren44108228
Washtenaw County612145643
Wayne County5049575857271
Wexford County2233212
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To find your county, use the search box.

Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver by County

There were nearly 11,000 deaths due to an alcohol-impaired driver in 2017, according to the NHTSA. It’s also a major hazard for rural traffic fatalities. What are the numbers by county in Michigan?

Alcona County101103
Alger County200002
Allegan County3525419
Alpena County000011
Antrim County121116
Arenac County210025
Baraga County001001
Barry County4202311
Bay County3372116
Benzie County101002
Berrien County5286324
Branch County114219
Calhoun County5355826
Cass County1020811
Charlevoix County112116
Cheboygan County420028
Chippewa County5131111
Clare County212117
Clinton County010528
Crawford County120025
Delta County101013
Dickinson County100023
Eaton County6232114
Emmet County012104
Genesee County10811121051
Gladwin County013116
Gogebic County001001
Grand Traverse County213017
Gratiot County210025
Hillsdale County140016
Houghton County101013
Huron County111306
Ingham County5486730
Ionia County2133312
Iosco County001001
Iron County010304
Isabella County2473420
Jackson County22431122
Kalamazoo County70106932
Kalkaska County100203
Kent County141414131671
Keweenaw County000000
Lake County010102
Lapeer County5523419
Leelanau County000011
Lenawee County4101511
Livingston County31023624
Luce County000022
Mackinac County101024
Macomb County141114141467
Manistee County100113
Marquette County210025
Mason County000022
Mecosta County213028
Menominee County201014
Midland County2161313
Missaukee County100102
Monroe County612361239
Montcalm County4111714
Montmorency County110103
Muskegon County4232516
Newaygo County211138
Oakland County91417221880
Oceana County011125
Ogemaw County000022
Ontonagon County010001
Osceola County014139
Oscoda County000101
Otsego County102025
Ottawa County2543418
Presque Isle001113
Roscommon County201317
Saginaw County4394626
Sanilac County011013
Schoolcraft County000101
Shiawassee County1245315
St. Clair6564324
St. Joseph3111410
Tuscola County0510713
Van Buren4573524
Washtenaw County1010931244
Wayne County4734486154244
Wexford County420208
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Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb lead the way. These are three of the most populous counties.

Teen Drinking and Driving

When it comes to the problem of teen drinking and driving, Michigan is in the middle of the pack in the U.S. This data comes from the FBI and is for the year 2016.

Total ArrestsPer 1 millionRank
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In that same year, the traffic fatality rate for those under 21 was 1.2 out of 100,000. This, according to

EMS Response Time

EMS times can often affect fatality rates and can be influenced by many factors. These include distance and communication abilities, which often affect rural areas. These can drive fatality rates up. So, what are the EMS response times in Michigan?

This data comes from the NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts Annual Table for Michigan.

Location of IncidentTime of Crash to EMS NotificationEMS Notification to EMS ArrivalEMS Arrival at Scene to Hospital ArrivalTime of Crash to Hospital ArrivalTotal Crashes Recorded
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Well, we don’t know much. It does take five minutes longer for EMS to arrive at the scene of the accident in rural compared to urban. There were more total crashes in urban areas than rural.

Aside from that, we have blank data sets.

Transportation in Michigan

Traffic time. In this section, we’ll cover car ownership, commute times, commuter method, and traffic. Hang on to your hats. One more for the road.

Car Ownership

Most American households own two cars, followed by three, then one. Is this the case for Michigan?

According to Data USA, a company that employs data scientists to put together profiles of areas, Michigan residents are almost exactly like other states. The difference is with the two bucket and the five and zero buckets. Michigan households own two cars more than typical, with fewer owning five cars or zero.

Commute Time

Michigan has a mix of large cities and rural areas. What is the average commute time?

Employees in Michigan average 23.3 minutes per commute. This is less than the average U.S. worker who takes 25.5 minutes to get to work. Most employees in Michigan take between five and 34 minutes to get to work.

Commuter Transportation

Most Americans drive to work alone. Is this the case in Michigan?

Very clearly, yes. 82.5 percent of Michigan employees drive to work alone. This is higher than the U.S. average of 76.4 percent.

The number of people that carpool is even compared to the national average and fewer people work at home, take public transit, or walk.

Traffic Congestion

Traffic can cause headaches, missed meetings, and hand twitches to pound on the horn. Do any of Michigan’s cities have terrible traffic?

To answer this question, we turn to TomTom. It is a leading traffic monitoring company that presents data on commute times, best and worst days to travel, and general congestion.

Two major Michigan cities are listed on TomTom’s index: Detroit and Grand Rapids. We’ll start with Detroit.

Detroit ranks 315th worst in the world when it comes to traffic. TomTom combed through nearly 4 billion kilometers worth of data to come up with its statistics. They are:

  • 13 percent congestion level on highways
  • 19 percent congestion level on non-highways
  • 27 percent congestion level on morning peak traffic (plus-eight minutes per 30-minute commute)
  • 41 percent congestion level on evening peak traffic (plus-12 minutes per 30-minute commute)
  • The best day to travel is December 25th
  • The worst day to travel is February 29th

Grand Rapids is ranked 368th worst in the world. Its statistics are:

  • 7 percent congestion level on highways
  • 18 percent congestion level on non-highways
  • 22 percent congestion level on morning peak traffic (plus-seven minutes per 30-minute commute)
  • 34 percent congestion level on evening peak traffic (plus-10 minutes per 30-minute commute)
  • The best day to travel is November 22nd
  • The worst day to travel is January 3rd

Those are the traffic statistics from TomTom. There are other traffic indexes like INRIX and Numbeo that provide further information.

Okay, we’re finished. You should have all the information you need to make a decision about car insurance in Michigan. Clear eyes, full hearts. Happy driving.

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