If you live in Michigan then you also have the option to purchase Limited Property Damage Liability Coverage. Most Insurance companies will add this coverage for you because it’s usually very cheap. I think it costs me $0.60 every 6 months on my current auto insurance policy. That’s only $0.10 per month.
If you are liable for damage caused to another motor vehicle, you may be sued for amounts up to $500.00 This coverage provides protection for such a liability risk, should you be involved in a claim or lawsuit. This coverage applies only for losses that occur in Michigan. Typically if you have this coverage on your policy then your insurance company will cover the amount up to $500.00 for you.
I found that many people did not know that this type of coverage even existed. There were different times when someone had a claim in our office and they had a deductible that they were responsible for. If they were not considered at fault in the accident then I would process a claim with the other insurance company for them to recoup their deductible. Under the Michigan No Fault Provision they can be reimbursed up to the $500 limit. For example, if you have regular/standard collision insurance with a $100 deductible, and are involved in an accident for which you are less than 50% at fault, you can sue the other driver to recover your deductible.
What Is Mini-Tort?
Under no-fault auto insurance, a driver can only be sued under certain circumstances, such as:
- If he or she causes an accident in which someone is killed or seriously injured, or
- If he or she is involved in an accident in Michigan with a non-resident who is an occupant of a motor vehicle not registered in Michigan, or
- If he or she is involved in an accident in another state where lawsuits are permitted
The limited property damage liability, or mini-tort, provision of the no-fault law creates another situation in which you can sue or be sued. Under mini-tort, if you are 50% or more at fault in an accident, and damages to the other drivers car are not completely covered by his or her insurance, you may be sued and may have to pay up to $500 in damages. This also means that you may sue the other driver for damages to your car which are not covered by your insurance if the other driver is 50% or more at fault.
Does My Insurance Cover This & And How Do I file a Claim?
The mandatory no-fault insurance coverages, which are required by law and which include some liability insurance designed to protect you in suits involving serious injury or death, do not cover this additional $500 liability. Insurance companies usually offer this coverage as an optional coverage which you may purchase for an extra cost. (see my example above) Insurers often call this coverage “limited property damage liability”. Check with your agent to find out how your company handles this liability and what is available to you.
If you are not lucky enough to have a company that helps process this claim for you, I can help. I will list below the contact numbers for many of the Insurance Companies out there. If you have an accident in Michigan and need to file a Mini-Tort claim this is what you need to do.
First, you will need to make sure you have a copy of the police report from the accident. Usually you can get this from the police department for free or it usually costs anywhere from $5-$10. If you insurance company already has it, they will usually give you a copy for free. You just need to ask.
Second, you will need to get a copy of your Auto Declarations page. Again you can make a copy of it yourself as you should receive a new one every 6 months when your policy renews. You can also request a copy from your insurance company which should be free.
Third, you will need to get an estimate of damages to your vehicle. Many repair facilities will do this for free. If you are entering a claim on your own policy many times you will already have this information. If for some reason you didn’t get a copy and your insurance company has one, they should give you a copy for free.
Lastly, you will need to file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. Tell them that you were in an accident with their insured, who was at fault, and you need to file a Mini-Tort claim under Michigan No Fault Law. I found that many insurance companies didn’t even know that this exists and may times I had to walk them through what they needed to do. Many of the popular insurance companies though, new what it was and it was a very quick and simple process. Just had to write the claim number they gave me on the top of each page and fax them over the 3 pieces of info listed above. After you file a claim you will want to get the claim number and contact number of the person handling the claim. Many times I had to follow up every few weeks to make sure the claim was being processed and kept very close detail to it.
Here is a list of many of the insurance companies that do business in the State of Michigan. If you find one that I do not have on my list please let me know and I will get it added.
|Company Name||Phone Number|
|All Risk Insurance Brokers||519-253-6376|
|Allied Property & Casualty||800-282-9445|
|All State Canada||905-477-7313|
|Amerisure (MI Mutual)||866-664-2524|
|Carolina Casualty Cherokee||800-201-0450|
|CAN/Continental Insurance Company||800-262-9262|
|CUNA/League General Insurance||800-572-7390|
|Employees Mutual Casualty||800-292-1320|
|Farm Bureau (Birch Run)||800-367-5343|
|Farm Bureau (Lansing)||800-527-6386|
|Farm Bureau (After Hours Claims Service||800-255-7240|
|First Security Casulty||800-323-8862|
|Hartford||800-280-0055 #3 than #2|
|Insurance May – Detroit||313-895-3000 or 313-893-0000|
|Lakes States Insurance||800-968-2090 Option 1|
|Light House Insurance||616-218-3912 or 616-842-4900|
|MAIPF (Michigan State Pool)||434-464-1100|
|National General Insurance||800-235-1088|
|Pioneer State Mutual Insurance||800-733-2300 or 800-837-7674|
|State Auto Insurance||800-766-1853|
|State Farm Insurance||800-520-3581|
|St. Paul Insurance||800-387-8734|
|Titan||800-775-4642 or 800-926-3168|
|Travelers Property Ins||800-252-4633|
|US Fidelity & Guaranty Company||800-387-8734|
|Wausau Insurance Company||800-628-7236|
|Wolverine Mutual Insurance||800-733-3320|