Explaining the changes to Michigan car insurance that begin July 1

Starting July 1, some major changes to auto insurance are happening in Michigan. 

We speak with a representative from Meadowbrook Insurance, Kris Hall, about what the changes mean and how we need to react.

"There's two major changes to Michigan no-fault. The first one comes to personal injury protection. That's what pays for you and your family's medical bills if you're injured in an auto accident. The other one comes to what's called bodily injury liability. What that is, is the amount of money the insurance company would put forth to defend you in court for bills that you are legally responsible to pay," Hall explains.

"With having this option to reduce medical coverage, you can now be held responsible for the medical bills of another party if they've reduced or opted out of their personal injury protection, you can now be held responsible to pay those bills. And that's the coverage that pays bodily injury liability."

And this is different than how other states are handling auto insurance. 

"Even with these changes, Michigan is still going to have some of the best personal injury protection benefits in the country. My sister used to live in Ohio and I think they had a maximum of $5,000 for personal injury protection. Here in Michigan you can maintain the unlimited coverage or you can reduce it to $500,000, $250,000, or some folks are rolling the dice and opting out entirely," Hall says.

How does someone make the choice between the options?

"A lot of people think, well, I have excellent health insurance coverage so I'm considering opting out. And I understand we all want to save money but what I'm telling people is there are a lot of things that a Michigan no-fault auto insurance policy provides very robust coverage for, that a health insurance policy doesn't necessarily cover. I'll give you some examples. What if you need substantial physical therapy to help you regain your mobility after a car accident? What if you need a wheelchair ramp to get in and out of your house? What if your house needs to be reconstructed to widen in the doorways to allow you to get in and out? Those are some things that health insurance wouldn't cover and typically has really great cover john Michigan no-fault policy."

The change does into effect July 1 but you don't have to do anything until your policy is up for renewal.