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What is standard collision coverage?

December 22, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

“Collision coverage insurance” pays to repair a person’s car or truck if it was damaged in a Michigan auto accident. Without collision coverage, a vehicle owner has nearly no other way of paying for the repair costs.

But there are several different types of collision coverage, and it’s important that drivers understand what types can best protect them on the roads.

I recently received a question on standard collision coverage as it relates to a Michigan mini tort claim. Hope my answer helps.

Q. So paying for “standard” collision “coverage” means that if someone rear ends me causing $500 in damage, and my “deductible” is $500, there’s no point in even reporting it to the police and filing a claim because of the Michigan mini tort?

A. Under Michigan’s mini tort law, victims of car accidents can recover a maximum of $1,000 for vehicle damage from the driver who caused the crash, via the at-fault driver’s automobile insurance company. This is called a mini tort claim.

But even accidents with minor physical damage should always be reported to the police, so the insurers of both parties can properly assess who was at fault for the crash – and also in case injuries arise over time.

If the other person is at fault, he will have to pay the mini-tort, which in your case, is your deductible amount. Most people have this coverage on their policies. If you don’t report it, the other person can change his story and then you will have to go to small claims court to sort it out.

You can also get broad collision coverage, where your deductible is waived if you are 50% or less at fault. However, you would still need to make a police report so that your insurer can verify that who is at fault before waiving your deductible.

The main difference between broad form collision coverage and standard collision coverage is the deductible, according to Michigan law.

With broad form collision, the deductible is waived if the operator or driver of the insured vehicle was “not substantially at fault” in causing the accident which resulted in damage to the insured vehicle.

But with standard collision coverage, the deductible must still be paid, even if the damaged vehicle’s operator or driver was not at fault. Benefits are payable regardless of fault under standard collision coverage just as with broad form collision coverage.

For more information, take a look at my blog post on 8 facts about Michigan collision coverage insurance.

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