New Year’s Resolution: Purchase Automobile Coverage that Protects You in the Event the Other Driver Fails To Do So

The beginning of the year is always an excellent time to look at your financial situation. Financial planning, modifying your investments, determining what amount to put into your IRA or 401K plan, and college planning are all important and should be addressed at least once a year. There is no better time to do it than in January when the dust has cleared from the holiday activities. However, one area that is often overlooked is making sure you have the right auto coverages. Unfortunately, insurance agents seldom contact you at the time of renewal to make sure you have the right coverages. We tend to grimace and pay the premium. We have to as insurance in Michigan is mandatory to a degree.

In Michigan, a person  only needs to insure their personal liability in the amount of $20,000! While  that may have been a lot of money fifty years ago when the mandatory coverage became the law, it is next to nothing in this day and age when a series of medical tests at the emergency room can add up to nearly that much. Fortunately, most insurers offer what is referred to underinsured motorist coverage at a very reasonable price. The concept behind such insurance is that if you are injured as a result of another driver’s negligence and that driver has minimum insurance coverage (with most likely little or nothing in assets) you are protected because you can make a claim against your own insurance company for the difference in the damages you suffer and the amount of insurance available from the negligent driver’s insurance company.

We all hope we never need such insurance but I have had many lawsuits where a person or persons were seriously injured or even killed in an automobile accident but there was only minimal insurance available resulting in next to no recovery. Underinsurance coverage is a key component in your auto policy and if you do not have it make sure your agent knows you want it. If the insurance company does not offer it, move your auto insurance business to another company. Again, the nice thing is that such coverage is relatively inexpensive compared to other auto coverages.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact attorney Gary Rogers at or 517.377.0828. Gary is a Shareholder at Fraser Trebilcock’s Lansing office and focuses his work in the areas of Personal Injury Litigation and Bankruptcy. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy Law and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law as well as Insurance Litigation. He is also named a ‘Michigan Super Lawyer’ for Litigation by the publishers of Law & Politics Magazine for 2014.