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3 easy ways to keep your auto insurance rates from skyrocketing

May 4, 2016 by Steven M. Gursten

Insurancequotes.com shows Michigan car insurance jumps when insureds speed, drive recklessly, and under the influence

save money car insurance, image

Everyone wants to pay less for auto No Fault insurance. And as an insurance lawyer, I often write and give tips and suggestions on precisely how people can do that, such as here and here.

But do you want to know how to keep your auto insurance rates from jumping up and save money? Given that Michigan has some of the highest auto No Fault insurance prices in the country (see: “Auto insurance prices increase by 10%”), the big question people ask is,  “How?”

If you want to prevent your rates for Michigan No Fault auto insurance from spiking, then don’t:

  • Speed.
  • Drive recklessly.
  • Drive drunk.

In its recent article, “Auto insurance rates nearly double after one moving violation,” insurancequotes.com reports that the percentage increases in Michigan auto insurance rates resulting from any of the above moving violations are:

  • Among the highest percentage increases in the country.
  • Higher than the national average.

But, as I explain below, Detroit drivers may still be stuck with ever-increasing auto insurance prices, even if they don’t get any tickets.

Below is a chart showing the percentage increase in Michigan auto insurance rates – and the “national average premium increases” – that will result from speeding, reckless and drunk driving.

Additionally, the chart also shows how Michigan’s percentage increases rank (i.e., second, third and fifth highest) compared to the percentage increase in other states.

Michigan insurance rate increases, image

(Source: insurancequotes.com, “Auto insurance rates nearly double after one moving violation,” April 12, 2016)

Significantly, although insurancequotes.com’s article discusses the relationship between moving violations and increased auto insurance prices, it does not address why Michigan’s percentage rate increases were so much higher than the increases in other states for the same moving violations.

In its story, “Mich. drivers face steep insurance hikes for violations,” The Detroit News reported on at least one theory as to why auto insurance rates may be increasing disproportionately in Detroit.

A Detroit traffic attorney told The Detroit News that “the demographics of cities like Detroit could also be playing a role in Michigan’s high ranking in auto insurance increases for moving violation: ‘The Metro area has had a history of being red-lined by insurance companies … Detroit has always had a higher rate than other cities. You have good drivers who are paying off the backs of bad drivers, depending on their ZIP codes.’”

As to our large percentage jumps compared to other states, I’ve written often about the startling lack of transparency and oversight, and compared Michigan’s auto insurance market more to a protected cartel than a free market, where insurers take advantage of the law that requires people to purchase auto No Fault insurance – but without the protections of a state agency to make sure the profit margins that Michigan insurers charge is reasonable. It’s something that still needs to be fixed if we are to stop insurance companies from taking advantage of people.

Finally, as an attorney who helps people injured in automobile accidents, there’s another idem that I see that did not make the list from insurancequotes.com, but that should have.  Car accidents.  If you think a speeding ticket will cause a jump in your auto insurance premiums, wait to see what they do to you if you’re the at-fault driver who causes a preventable motor vehicle accident.

Hint: you won’t be happy.

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