As most people know, when you are in an accident and are insured by a Michigan policy, you look to your own insurance company to cover your collision expenses. It is up to you, the insured, to have appropriate collision coverage on your vehicle. You can choose to have coverage or not, and if you do elect collision coverage, you can choose the amount of the deductible in which you are comfortable.
There are different kinds of collision coverage. Most often, you will have either “Broad” insurance coverage or “Basic” insurance coverage. With broad coverage, your insurance company will generally waive your deductible if you are not at fault in the accident. With basic coverage, you pay your deductible no matter who is at fault. Of course, broad collision is more expensive, and often, considerably more. Be sure to check with your agent on the difference in premium between the two. You may find that it’s not worth the increased premium!
One compelling reason why it may not be worth paying extra for broad collision is the “mini-tort” law here in Michigan. If you are hit by an insured driver, and he or she is deemed at fault, you can collect up to $3,000.00 from their insurance company to cover your damage or deductible. So, if you have a $500 or $1,000 deductible, and you are not at fault, you can get your deductible reimbursed from the other driver’s insurance company. So why pay a higher premium to your company to waive the deductible when you can get it reimbursed anyways?
To answer that, there are some instances when you won’t be able to collect mini-tort, such as being a victim of a hit and run. Without knowing who hit you, mini-tort is not an option. And, of course, if you are hit by an uninsured driver, trying to collect from them personally will be a tough challenge. But other than these scenarios, assuming you are hit by an insured driver, mini-tort should be available to you.
Of course, if you are at fault in the accident, you would have to pay your deductible whether you had broad or basic collision coverage. And, certainly, you would not have a viable mini-tort claim if you were deemed at fault.
As for collecting mini-tort, it’s pretty easy. You simply need to provide the other driver’s insurance company with a copy of the police report, a copy of your declaration sheet from your insurance company indicating your coverage, and an estimate of the damages to your vehicle. You can handle this yourself, or I am more than happy to assist you.
Mini-tort only covers collision/property damage. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, be sure to call me to set up a free meeting, where we will discuss your injuries and make sure you are receiving the proper medical treatment from the best possible doctors. We will also go over your no-fault insurance and start the claims process for you. We go over the various benefits your no-fault insurance company is responsible for, and what is required to start receiving money as soon as possible for claims such as wage loss and household assistance. I will answer all of your questions and take care of everything so you can focus on your recovery.