Michigan drivers can opt out of personal injury protection; insurance agent breaks down the risks

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, with a stroke of her pen, allowed Michigan drivers to opt out of Personal Injury Protection as a way to save on the nation's highest car insurance rates. 
But now, as the year comes to a close, you have to decide how that factors into your health insurance choices. 

"I've been in the insurance business since 1987 and part of the reason I enjoyed it because it is that complicated, I'm constantly learning there's always something new and ever changing in this world. So don't feel uncomfortable if you are confused," said Molly McCoy with Priority Health.

McCoy says this is the time to conquer the confusion and get clear on whether your health insurance can pick up on coverage you opt out of, on your auto insurance. 

"Unfortunately we can't look into the future and know whether or not you or me - we're going to be the victims of an auto insurance accident," she said. "But they are happening every day. And you have to make the assumption that in all likelihood it is going to touch you or someone in your family's life. So you have to make a very informed decision and make sure you have the right coverage."

Not taking that serious look could cost you more while you get less coverage. Every person has to consider different factors. For instance, those on Medicare.

"They need to determine just what kind of coverage is important to them. How much they feel they need," said McCoy. "You've got to weigh it out.  You have got to look at, what is the difference between the premiums for me on auto insurance if I make this reduction, and what is the weight of that compared to the weight of the medical bills that you are going to have in the event of a catastrophic auto injury?"

If you work for a company with group insurance, ask your HR person some critical questions. 

"Ask them, how is our coverage set up with regards to auto related injuries," McCoy said. "Are they covered? Are there any limitations and you can make an educated decision based on that?”

Those on Medicaid can't eliminate PIP coverage. Not allowed. These decisions are ones you'll have to make down the road. Open enrollment for insurance is around the corner for many.  

"They need to find out how an auto related accident or injury would be covered on their health insurance plan," she said. "Because not all health insurance plans I will cover auto related injuries so they need to make sure that they have adequate coverage in the event that something catastrophic were to occur."