Although auto insurance is mandatory under state law, plenty of drivers hit the road without any coverage. In fact, Michigan has risen over the past few years in the ranking of states with the most uninsured drivers. It came in ninth place in 2007, going up to fourth by 2015 with over 20 percent of drivers lacking insurance, reveals the Insurance Information Institute.
It is no wonder that so many people choose not to purchase a policy when the price is so high. It may seem more cost-effective to take the risk and pay for vehicle repairs or replacement out of pocket. However, when it comes to a car accident, proper coverage is a must.
Why insurance matters in a car accident
Michigan is a no-fault state, which means that no matter who is responsible for an accident, your insurer must pay for your medical expenses, lost wages and third-party property damage. A basic plan does not include auto repairs for your vehicle or the other driver's.
You and the other driver cannot sue each other except in limited circumstances. With about a one in five chance of you experiencing an accident with an uninsured driver, you are unlikely to receive much money in those special situations from a driver who cannot even afford insurance. You also need sufficient liability coverage in case the person sues you.
How to protect yourself
Getting minimum coverage may be less expensive now, but it costs you more if you get into an accident. Except in the case of medical-related expenses, which have no limit, your insurer only pays up to certain amounts for damage and lawsuits. You pay the rest.
You can protect yourself by increasing your coverage and adding on to your policy. For example, standard collision and comprehensive insurance pays for repairs to your car (except the deductible) even if you were at fault. You can also choose to get uninsured motorist coverage for further protection.