When you purchase or renew your Michigan auto insurance policy, you’ll need to confirm the amount of Bodily Injury coverage (which covers you in the event you are at fault for the accident) you want using a Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) form.
The reason for this is that for the first time in about five decades, Michigan drivers may be sued if they were at fault in an auto accident that injured one or more other drivers or passengers. You could also be sued if someone driving a vehicle you owned was at fault in causing a serious accident. That suit would be based on the cost of medical expenses required for those injured, which could easily rise into five or six figures, depending on severity.
Understanding Bodily Injury Coverage
A Bodily Injury policy covers the cost of damages you or someone driving your car causes following a car crash. Before July 2, the state minimum in Michigan was $20,000 per person or $40,000 per accident. Now that default has changed to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident, based largely on soaring healthcare costs.
Take a close look at the DIFS form before you confirm the amount of Bodily Injury coverage you require. You are required to fill out this form before finalizing your policy. The form does a credible job of explaining the risks associated with being under-insured. It also explains what bodily injury coverage is and the new default level of $250,000/$500,000
Motorists can select coverage as low as $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident under Michigan’s New No-Fault law. However, there are significant financial risks to making this decision if the amounts you choose are too low and you’re involved in a serious accident resulting in a serious, costly injury to others including:
- Your personal assets may be seized or, for homeowners, a lien could be placed on a house you own to cover costs over and above your coverage amounts
- Your wages could be garnished
- Your driver’s license may be suspended
The DIFS form specifically requires any motorist choosing to purchase less than the default policy $250,000/$500,000 per accident to initial their intent which is meant to make it clear that potential for financial losses if that driver (or vehicle owner) was found to be at fault in a serious accident. This should be the absolute minimum coverage you choose for your auto policy.
The bottom line is to know your risks. If you let someone else borrow and drive your car, selecting a minimum Bodily Injury coverage puts you even at greater risk as you are essentially putting your financial future in the hands of that driver.
Lawrence Kajy and the Kajy Law family are always available to help you navigate state laws if you are involved in an auto accident.
We can help you get what you deserve if you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else and you will never pay a fee unless we recover funds.
The Kajy Law team also wants you to be educated about your options as you make these difficult auto insurance decisions based on this complex new law. If you have any questions, contact Kajy Law today.