Cheap Car Insurance in Michigan for 2020

  • Nicole Wakelin
  • 7/17/2020

Michigan has some of the highest car insurance rates in the country. Our research found that the overall average annual cost of insurance in Michigan is about $2,100 compared to about $1,400 across the country. We researched the cheapest insurers in Michigan to see how you can save money on car insurance.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in Michigan?

  • Geico
  • USAA
  • Auto-Owners
  • Frankenmuth

We sampled information from a number of sources and developed a range of what cheap car insurance usually costs per year in Michigan. We based these samples on a driver with at least a decade of driving experience, a clean driving record, driving one of America’s most popular, non-exotic vehicles.

The important thing to remember is that insurance rates can vary widely, and prices can change almost daily. This range is only a GUIDE to give you a basic idea about the rates insurance companies charge today in Michigan.

DISCLAIMER: There are numerous other factors that are going to impact the cost of insurance on your car, crossover, or truck. We’ll provide info on some of those variables, but your best bet is to read our deep dive on Cheap Car Insurance for 2020 to get a better idea.

Who has the best cheap car insurance in Michigan?

  • Best Large Insurance Carrier - Geico and USAA both came in with an average under $1600.
  • Cheapest Insurance with Bad Credit - We found Nationwide and Geico are your best bets if your credit needs work.
  • Cheapest Insurance with One Accident - Geico and USAA stood out in this category.
  • Cheapest Insurance for Higher Mileage - Geico and USAA also had the best rates for those who put lots of mileage on their vehicles.

How much does car insurance cost in Michigan?

In Car Talk’s deep dive on affordable car insurance, we found that a national average for auto insurance was $1,361. In Michigan, depending on what city and county you live in, you’re probably going to be paying more. Our prior research also revealed that the overall average is about $2145 in the Mitten State.

Rates we found reported as “typical” or “average” (annual) onlineAverage (annual)Adjusted average* (annual)
Geico$1297, $1287, $1040$1208N/A
USAA**$2651, $1477, $1443, $1304, $1114$$1598$1455
Auto-Owners$3138, $1975, $1485, $1262$1965$1808
Frankenmuth$3552, $2499, $1928, $1556$2384$2270

(*) The “adjusted average” is computed by eliminating the highest and lowest values and averaging the remaining values.

(**) You may need to be a current or former service member to apply.

What causes rates to go up in Michigan?

Where you live in Michigan can cause your car insurance rates to go up significantly. If you call the Motor City home, then you’re looking at rates 154 percent higher than the state average. Move out of the city and you could see rates go in the other direction with Ann Arbor costing 18 percent less than the state average and Warren coming in at 77 percent less than the state average.

How do accidents affect rates in Michigan?

Crashing your car means you win the bet. You just beat your insurer who was betting that you would not crash, but it’s going to cost you in increased car insurance rates. Exactly how much is known only to your insurer. Michigan is a “no-fault” state, so each driver’s insurance pays. This results in higher insurance rates but reduces costly lawsuits.

Here are the best estimates we could find from various sources on how much one accident will raise your policy premium in Michigan;

Range of Rate Increases for One AccidentAverage of Rate IncreasesAdjusted Average of Rate Increases
35%, 57%, 62%51%N/A

This information is just an approximation. Many factors can change how much your insurance goes up after you have one accident. For example, if you’ve paid more in your annual insurance cost to be a part of an accident forgiveness program, your increase for one accident is nothing, but your overall cost of insurance is higher every year than if you hadn’t. Almost all of the insurers on our list above of cheap insurance providers, and many others, offer this option which was popularized by Allstate.

How do traffic tickets affect rates in Michigan?

If you drive down Main Street like it’s your own personal racetrack, then your insurer is going to raise your rates. How much the sting will be in Michigan varies based on the type of ticket and the severity of the offense.

Here is the data we could dig up on the percent increase range a ticket will raise your car insurance policy premium in Michigan;

Range of Rate Increases for One Speeding ViolationAverage of Rate IncreasesAdjusted Average of Rate Increases
62%, 39%, 45%, 10%39%42%

How can you get car insurance discounts in Michigan?

The most significant discount you can realize in Michigan is to move to an area with lower rates. Even just being outside of the downtown area can help. Move to a county or city or town with lower claim rates and you may save as much as 50% per year. We looked at the comparative costs of insurance in Michigan and found that a move from Detroit to Pontiac would likely save a driver 70%. Unfortunately, moving isn’t always an option.

The easier way to manage your insurance costs is to avoid crashing and getting traffic tickets. And your car and phone apps can help. Avoiding accidents has gotten easier in recent years as vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems have become the norm, even in affordable vehicles like the Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla. Ironically, insurers don’t discount cars with those systems yet because they cost a lot to repair (so they say…)

Avoiding speeding tickets in Michigan is a little easier than in other states. The maximum speed limit in Michigan is 75 mph, but pay attention because you will need to slow down as the speed limit changes along a highway. Apps like Google Maps Waze help you know where the speed traps are and warn you to slow down.

We also have an entire story on the tens of thousands of discount programs available, based on memberships, military service, and other associations. Some of the more common meaningful discounts relate to low mileage driving, bundling with your homeowner’s policy, and carrying high deductibles. Students take note: Many insurers will offer good students a discount. Parents take note: If your kid is at college more than 100 miles away you may see big savings.

What’s the minimum coverage allowed in Michigan?

Insurance is required by law in Michigan. To drive in Michigan, you must have at least $20,000 in liability coverage for each injured person, up to a total of $40,000 per accident, and $10,000 for property damage per accident. This basic coverage is called 20/40/10. Almost no homeowner with any assets will buy just the minimum coverage required by law. More typical is coverage on the order of 100/300/50. You don’t have to buy that much coverage, but it helps protect your assets when there’s an accident.

Nearly every state’s minimum is way too low. If you have a vehicle loan or lease, or own a home, you will find that you are required to carry higher levels of coverage to satisfy other agreements and responsibilities you have. Our focus in this story is on cheap car insurance.

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FAQ

Who has the cheapest car insurance in Michigan?

Insurance rates vary greatly between carriers and even between policyholders. Our research showed that USAA and Geico have the best rates. If you fall into any of the categories that bump up rates, you may be better off with a smaller carrier looking to exploit certain niches. If you are a service member, definitely cross-shop USAA.

How can I get super cheap car insurance?

There’s no tried-and-true rule for getting cheap car insurance. The best rates available to you will depend on where you live, your driving record, the coverage you need, the type of vehicle you own, and other factors like your credit score. Also, make the carrier aware of other memberships or special circumstances you have. If you’re a veteran, active military, senior citizen, or if you have a membership to an organization like AAA or AARP, you may be eligible for discounted or special rates.

What is the cheapest online car insurance?

Years ago, only a few companies offered online applications for their insurance policies, but that has changed in recent years. Almost all insurance carriers offer an online-only option to apply for coverage now, so it’s just a matter of shopping around. Data reported on multiple sources shows that USAA is still one of the most affordable options, but well-known insurance carriers like Progressive aren’t far behind for many people.

What’s important in a car insurance company besides the rates?

Unsurprisingly, some car insurers have been called out by their customers for having poor customer service and in some cases unexpected rate changes. We recommend checking recent online reviews before you switch to a new carrier.

Does credit score affect car insurance?

Unfortunately, yes. The Federal Trade Commission found that low credit scores were relatively accurate predictors of a driver’s risk for an accident. As a result, insurance companies will sometimes charge higher rates and have more restrictive coverage offerings for people with spotty credit histories. Illinois has one of the widest swings in car insurance cost from good to bad credit.

Is there low income car insurance?

There is no low-income insurance law in the state of Michigan.

Who has the cheapest full coverage?

Full coverage costs vary by carrier. USAA and Auto-Owners are among the cheapest full coverage providers in Michigan.

What do you do if you can’t afford car insurance?

Michigan requires insurance by law. If you are unable to afford any coverage, the best option will be finding alternative transportation like Uber and Lyft.

Can I buy one day car insurance?

One day insurance can be very helpful if you’re buying a car or moving a vehicle from one location or another. You can also buy temporary coverage and supplemental coverage for special activities like track days and off-roading.

How can I get my insurance quote cheaper?

Shopping around is the best strategy to find the best rates. Companies will often compete with each other for your business. You can also take advantage of any other memberships you might have, like AAA or AARP for discounts.

Can you lie about your job on car insurance?

No. Lying about any part of your insurance application can result in lost coverage, uncovered accidents, or legal action.

Why is my insurance so high with no accidents?

Your age, marital status, the city or town you live in, your credit score, and your driving record all have an influence on what you pay for car insurance.

Is an older car cheaper to insure?

An older car is not always cheaper to insure. Insurance companies use complex algorithms with many factors to set a price. The value of the vehicle does matter.

What happens to car insurance after a speeding ticket?

It goes up. A lot. On the order of 20% for minor offenses and DUI convictions can be game changers. The insurance increases will likely be much more of a financial hit than the actual traffic fine.

Why does car insurance cost so much?

Car insurance becomes expensive for people with spotty driving records, poor credit, or for those that live in extremely congested areas with other people that get into lots of accidents. Insurance is a numbers game, and companies are constantly trying to adjust their rates to match their perceived level of risk.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.