Insurance companies in Michigan do not have a specific amount of time in which they must settle an insurance claim. Instead, state law requires them to settle claims "promptly".
Even though Michigan does not require a specific timeframe for the resolution of insurance claims, you still have the right to an efficient settlement. If you think that your insurance company is violating the law or operating unethically, you can file a “bad faith” lawsuit, which can award you the original settlement amount with added interest and penalties.
With that being said, it’s important to remember that several factors can affect exactly how long it takes for an insurance company to settle a claim. For example, severe accidents, claims involving bodily injury, and poor communication between involved parties can all slow down the process.
Michigan’s auto insurance reform law allows drivers to opt out of buying unlimited personal injury protection (PIP), but they need higher liability limits. Michigan’s auto insurance reform law changed the state’s car insurance requirements for policies issued or renewed after July 2020. Michigan’s insurance reform also decreased the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) fee, which drivers must pay if they purchase unlimited PIP insurance.… read full answer
Michigan Auto Insurance Reforms After July 2020
Drivers need $250,000 in personal injury protection per person, with lower limits or exclusions allowed for drivers with Medicare, Medicaid, or qualified health care.
Insurers must offer an optional supplement to PIP insurance that covers attendant care, such as home nursing.
Insurers must offer $3,000 in limited property damage liability insurance, which applies if you are 50% or more at fault in an accident and the other driver sues you for vehicle damage.
Michigan has some of the most expensive car insurance premiums in the country, as well as high fraud rates. To combat this, Michigan’s auto insurance reform law implemented several new consumer protections.
Consumer Protections Created by Michigan’s Auto Insurance Reform Law
Insurance companies can no longer consider gender, home ownership, marital status, credit score, educational level, occupation, and ZIP code when determining rates.
Drivers cannot be penalized for a lapse in auto insurance coverage as long as they apply for insurance by January 1, 2022.
Michigan insurers must reduce PIP premiums, and all premiums need to be approved by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services.
A new fraud investigation unit was formed.
Fees and penalties for insurance companies who violate laws increased.
You can tell who is at fault in a car accident by considering driver and witness statements, dash cam footage, the location of vehicle damage, the position of the vehicles, or any citations issued after the accident. Insurance companies will also use adjustors and accident reconstruction experts to determine fault in car accidents. These expects consider factors such as the point of impact, evidence of sudden acceleration, and the angle of the steering wheel.… read full answer
How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident
Take pictures of the vehicle damage and accident scene.
Find witnesses who saw what happened.
Give your statement to the police and file a report, to aid in their investigation.
Provide the insurance adjuster with all of your evidence and information.
Who Determines Fault After a Car Accident?
When you file a claim after a car accident, the insurance company will assign an adjuster to your case. Adjustors evaluate all of the evidence related to the accident and determine who is at fault.
Insurance adjusters make this decision using the legal definition of negligence, which is when a driver fails to exercise the same amount of caution that a “reasonable person” would under the same circumstances.
States have different ways of handling at-fault accidents based on the degree of negligence shown by each driver. Each system affects how damages can be awarded differently, too.
State Negligence Laws & Fault in Car Accidents
Expenses are covered based on the degree of responsibility that each driver has for the accident. Used in 12 states, including California and Florida.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Your expenses will only be covered by the other driver’s insurance if you are less than 51% at fault. Used in 33 states, including Texas and Illinois.
You cannot recoup expenses at all if you share any blame for the accident. Used in five states, including Maryland and Virginia, plus the District of Columbia.
How to Make the Fault Determination Process Easier
The more information and evidence that you gather after a car accident, the easier the insurance adjuster’s job will be. Since liability can sometimes come down to your word versus the other driver’s, get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Also, prior to leaving the scene, take plenty of pictures of the damage to both vehicles, the debris from the accident, and anything in your surroundings that could be relevant.
You might need to call the police and file a report, too, depending on the extent of any injuries and property damage. Officers might issue citations as they investigate the accident, and while a citation doesn’t legally prove who was at fault, it could be used as evidence of negligence in a lawsuit.
Yes, Michigan is a no-fault state for car insurance. The no-fault system requires Michigan drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to pay for their own medical expenses after an accident, as well as property protection insurance to pay for any damage their cars do to others’ property. Drivers in Michigan also have limitations on their right to sue others for their medical expenses after an accident.… read full answer
Key Things to Know About No-Fault Insurance in Michigan
Michigan drivers generally need to purchase at least $250,000 in PIP insurance.
Drivers may opt out of mandatory PIP insurance if the named insured has Medicare Parts A and B and any spouse or relatives that live with them have health insurance or are covered under another auto policy with PIP medical coverage.
Michigan drivers must carry $1 million in property protection insurance.
Michigan drivers can only sue for accident-related damages if the incident was in another state or if the driver who caused the collision was not a Michigan resident and their car was not registered in Michigan. Michigan drivers also have the right to sue for damages if the accident was in Michigan and resulted in death, serious injury, or permanent disfigurement.
To protect themselves and their passengers in the event of an accident, Michigan drivers should carefully select their car insurance policies and purchase the proper PIP insurance limits.
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