As an industry expert since 2017, I can understand why many of my clients found insurance to be initially very confusing.  From recent changes to the Michigan Auto Reform, to long contract language in your policies, insurance can seem daunting to individuals not within the insurance industry.  That is why I love what I do and enjoy helping my clients understand their policies to make sure they are properly covered.

Below are some tips my clients found helpful in understanding their policies.  The next time you look at your policy details, check out the following to make sure you are in the best spot.  As always, feel free to reach out to me directly as I’d be happy to walk through your coverages together.

Auto insurance tips:

-Higher deductibles mean lower premiums, but you pay more out of pocket in a claim.  Higher deductibles also mean you’ll need to think more carefully before filing a claim.  Make sure to consult your independent agent before filing a claim as a filing a claim will most likely mean higher premiums at renewal.

-The new state minimum for liability on bodily injury is 50/100.  The “50” is $50,000 is for the per person limit that applies in an accident.  This means if one person is injured, the most your bodily injury limit would pay for their medical expenses would be $50,000. The “100” is $100,000 is for all injured motorists in combined medical expenses. The lowest we typically write at VantagePointe is 250/500 ($250,000/$500,000).  Often, having higher the liability limits on your current policy will mean lower premiums when shopping your insurance.  With increasing medical cost, this will also ensure you have ample coverage.  If you feel you may need higher limits in addition to your auto policy, make sure to inquire about an umbrella policy.  This is a low-cost coverage that will extend to your auto, home, and other joint policies.

-$100 in towing coverage should be the minimum amount of coverage to eliminate out of pocket expenses.  Want the best coverage in the roadside assistance industry? Make sure to ask me about a AAA membership!

-Broadened coverage means if you are 50% or less at fault, you do not pay your deductible. Regular coverage means no matter who is at fault, you pay your deductible.  PLPD means you only have liability coverage.  Any damage to the vehicle is NOT covered.

-Coordination of medical can also be confusing.  If you have health insurance, you should call the 1-800 number on the back to see if it covers you and members on your policy in the event of an auto accident.  If your health insurance coordinates, then your auto insurance premium may be less expensive.  We usually recommend unlimited medical in most instances as this will provide long term care as well.

-Make sure to ask your independent agent about discounts!  There are many discounts you can take advantage of that will help provide lower premiums.  Discounts include but aren’t limited to: Pay in full, bundling multiple policies together, College degree, member of a credit union, Michigan Education Association, Independent Accountants Association, Michigan Association of CPA’s, Michigan Dental Association, Senior Driver’s discount, Federal and State Government Employee Group, Home Day Care Group, etc.

Next week we’ll take a dive into homeowner policies for the second part of this two-part series.  Other policy questions in the meantime?  Make sure to reach out to myself or any of our amazing team members at VantagePointe Risk Management!


Phone: 616-419-3118

Mike Fowle