Which Insurance Company Should I Choose?

No matter the year or technological advancements present within the insurance agency you choose, assigning your policies to a personal agent is very important to ensure you and your family are insured properly and honestly by the insurance agent and carrier as a whole.

The most important component to many insured persons regarding expectations from the agency, include prompt and professional customer service. Besides friendly service many prefer speed of accuracy when it comes to adding or dropping off cars, adding insured individuals, or simply paying a bill on the phone for some customers.

I worked in both field offices and captive agencies during my time in the industry as an ‘in-house rep’ so I am able to provide an honest insider’s viewpoint on which insurance structure is best for Michigan residents. The companies I worked for include Liberty Mutual Insurance and Farm Bureau Insurance.

It’s By Far The Best To Have Multiple Carrier Options

An insurance agency who contracts with multiple carriers is the best option to have as a resident of Michigan, whether you are insuring your family or an individual policy. This will allow you to have a comprehensive view of your carrier options.

Above are a few examples of insurance carriers to choose from and to get an idea of how many carriers an agency typically can contract with to provide customers with options. Each insurance company has different rate niches and target markets for quality and affordable quotes.

A few key steps are included in ensuring you choose the right insurance agency to be insured through exclusively. You will have NO NEED to switch companies unless are changing the state you reside and are insured in. This is important to get on personal terms with your agent and really establishing a relationship if you haven’t had a previous friendship or family relationship in the past. Insurance should be something that you spend time on drafting with you and your family, and the agent should be someone close to you in some way personally or professionally.

A few important factors when choosing an agent summarized..

  • Trustworthy & Caring Agent
  • Options of Carriers
  • Michigan-Based Agent

These key factors will play a role in the overall ‘insurance experience’ you have in your lifetime. Financial protection and personal protection are the two pillars of a defensive move for families and individuals alike. Reach out to me with any questions about home and auto insurance.

Drive Safe Michigan,

Michael C. Moran

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Michigan Auto Insurance Guide: Coverage Types

In a separate blog post on auto insurance written for Michigan residents, I discussed 5 key areas of auto insurance coverage that many people often overlook when working with a licensed agent. The specific area of choice involving auto insurance coverage called “collision coverage”, dictates whether or not one’s vehicle will be covered for the car collision damages resulting from an event of a crash with another vehicle or object.

An insured in the state of Michigan has the option to choose between a variety of coverage options including but not limited to Full-Coverage, Comprehensive Coverage, and PLPD (Personal Liability and Property Damage). The sensible coverage option is full-coverage because it provides collision and comprehensive coverage for your vehicle, which covers the cost of the damage repairs. Collision coverage also provides protection for comprehensive claims such as hitting an animal, or an object damaging your windshield.

Michael Moran, Former Licensed Agent

Auto Insurance Coverage Types

  1. Full Coverage
  2. Comprehensive Coverage
  3. PLPD
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Full-Coverage

Most importantly protects one’s vehicle from a collision resulting in damages. Comprehensive coverage is also included with this option which involves hitting an animal, objects, vandalism, theft, and optional glass coverage. This is important for damage protection from things other than a car or property damage collisions. It is important to note that a claim will result in higher premium rates, therefore talk to your agent about whether or not you should file a claim based on the damage incurred from an incident.

Full-Coverage: Collision + Comprehensive + PLPD


Michigan is a no-fault insurance state and the accident rate is higher than other states, meaning premium payments are higher regardless of driving history. Although a clean driving record and good credit goes a long way in reducing your rates, the geographical location plays a role in determining risk.

Comprehensive Coverage

Another auto insurance coverage option, which protects against damage from incidents other than car collisions or a crash resulting in property damage. If an insured elects to choose this coverage option alone, his or her car would not be protected against collision damage, and would be on the hook for the repair costs of the damage in the event of a crash. Comprehensive coverage is best for cars kept in storage that the insured will NOT drive on the road. This protects the storage car from damages that may occur off the road, as I mentioned in previous examples.

Comprehensive Coverage: Non-Collision Damages + PLPD


Personal Liability & Property Damage (PLPD)

PLPD is the state of Michigan required auto insurance coverage. This coverage protects yourself against liabilities resulting in an auto insurance accident. Read the Michigan Auto Insurance Guide: Liability blog to learn more about the liability coverage limits in the state of Michigan. The property damage coverage is for an event of public property damage as a result of an auto accident. Remember, with the state minimum coverage YOUR VEHICLE IS NOT COVERED.

PLPD: Liability and property damage coverage (state required)


Drive Safe Michigan,

Michael Moran

Michigan Auto Insurance Guide: Deductibles

Michigan Auto Insurance Guide: Deductibles

I spent two and a half years in the insurance industry operating within the state of Michigan, discussing deductibles with prospective clients on an hourly basis. I began my insurance career at Liberty Mutual Insurance in 2017 as an intern where I called prospects both new and current for certain field agents. From there I went to both Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan before starting an insurance venture of my own.

Quoting policies while discussing and debating policy coverage and cost options was the main portion of the daily tasks I was dealt in the industry. Deductibles were a major part in my discussions starting out and they are in almost every policy cost discussion between customers and agents to present day, most likely right now while you are reading this line.

An insurance deductible is the money the insured pays out of pocket in the event of a auto insurance claim. The money paid by the insured goes to the towing company to pay a part of the damage repairs, while the rest of the damage is covered by the insurance company.

Simply stated, a deductible is the money the insured pays out of pocket before the insurance policy pays the remaining damage claim, in the case of auto insurance.

The main deductible options issued by insurance carriers nationwide are:

  • $250
  • $500
  • $750

The lowest deductible option at $250 is often the most appealing option to price shoppers, however the insurance premium is higher in this coverage amount. For the average working person $250 is the most viable deductible option due to short-term savings balances held by most Michigan residents. This is a good option for someone who has a median income.

Raising the deductible to $500 lowers the premium payments another bracket level each month, however reality sets in for most Michiganders as it is a high dollar amount to shell out in the event of an accident. In fact, a number of residents won’t consider this fact based on their personal budget whether or not this is a realistic unexpected payment.

Bumping up the deductibles another level to $750 will significantly lower the premium and save policy costs up front, however if in an accident where the deductible must be paid that is close to a grand out of pocket! I don’t know about you all but that would be a heavy hit for me and I may be upset I didn’t get the proper coverage in the first place for slightly more premium.

The lesson of this blog post is to calculate your budget carefully and determine what is sensible to pay out of pocket in the case of an auto insurance claim. Ask yourself something along the lines of, “Would I be able to pay $750 out of pocket today to cover the deductible for an insurance claim?”. Asking yourself if it is worth saving the premium amount quoted with the risk of paying a large dollar amount deductible out of pocket. It’s fairly simple but very important to ask the question, to be prepared in all areas of auto insurance coverage.

Drive Safe Michigan,

Michael Moran

Michigan Auto Insurance Guide: Liability Limits

When analyzing an auto insurance policy written in the state of Michigan, liability limits are often an overlooked line on the declarations pages. In most cases licensed agents do not take the proper amount of time to explain the importance of this coverage to their clients. With the higher premium payments in the state of Michigan, some agents will lower the liability limits to reduce the policy quote amount in order to gain new business from a client.

Let’s first start out with a basic breakdown of liability coverage on an auto insurance policy 📄 👇

Liability Limits:

In the state of Michigan, liability coverage on auto insurance is categorized in to ‘split limits’ coverage amounts. The format of the coverage as it appears on the declarations pages is as follows number/number/number.

For example, the coverage option 500/500/100 provides liability insurance up to $500,000 per person and $500,000 per accident for bodily injury. The last coverage provides $100,000 worth of property damage coverage.

Bodily Injury Liability

*Per Person/Per Accident

$50,000/$100,000

$100,000/$300,000

$250,000/500,000

$500,000/$500,000

Property Damage

*Per Accident

$50,000

$100,000

$100,000

$100,000

Industry standard liability limits have been 100/300/50 for the last decade, yet this is an arbitrary split limit amount because each policy requires different coverage amounts based on an individual’s or family’s assets. A number of policy shoppers will ask their agent to quote this coverage to the minimum state required coverage, without calculating their assets and assigning proper liability limits. Lowering your liability coverage is not worth saving $10/year. There are other ways to save money on auto insurance, which I explore in detail on my blog page.

Before calculating one’s assets to ensure the liability limits are quoted appropriately, it is important to understand why it is a responsible choice to carry this coverage beyond the minimum state requirements. In the event of an incident where the other party sustains bodily injury, the individual at fault may be subject to medical bills and lost wages based on the result of the legal proceedings. A phrase I heard once during my brief stint at Allstate was “think of yourself driving around with all of your belongings in the trunk”.

This statement implies that when a driver is on the road the potential for risk increases with each driver carrying their assets in the trunk, with the possibility of being on the hook for compensation. By carrying the appropriate liability limits the insured party can have peace of mind knowing that their assets are protected in the event of causing bodily injury.

How much liability coverage do I need?

Calculating your assets to determine the amount of coverage is the first step in understanding your insurance liability limits. Make sure to speak with your agent about this coverage. It is always best to carry a minimum of 500/500 in coverage seeing as the average court settlement is close to 1 million dollars in the state of Michigan.

In summary liability coverage on an auto insurance policy is a small percentage of what you are paying in premium to insure a vehicle. Regardless of the premium, it is important to carry the appropriate amounts and take the reality in to situations. Your agent should know the statistics with your coverage needs in your area code.

Drive safe Michigan,

Michael Moran

Michigan Auto Insurance Guide: The 5 Key Areas of a Policy

Hello to all of my fellow Michiganders and welcome to the auto insurance guide that I have created specifically for you. This series of blog posts will be directed toward the major components of a Michigan based auto insurance policy along with the ins and outs of carriers, policy types, and coverage options.

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We will explore the benefits of proper coverage and how carrying the state minimum coverage is a bad idea no matter your financial situation. There are methods to save money without lowering coverage limits while there are ways to increase coverage with no real increase in monthly premium.

I will lay out 5 key areas to review in your current auto insurance policy to improve your coverage and provide superior financial security that you and your family need. These five areas include deductibles, full-coverage, under insured motorist, uninsured motorist, and liability. These 5 overlooked areas are often contain the important coverage that your insurance agent may or may not be reviewing with you.

Deductibles: A deductible is the dollar amount that the client (you) pays out of pocket in the case of an auto insurance claim. This dollar amount is used to cover the expenses paid toward the repair of the vehicle before the person’s insurance company pays the remaining dollar amount of the damage claim.

Ask your agent about the deductible options and consider choosing the amount that is reasonable to afford in case of an auto accident. For example, while a $500 deductible will lower your monthly premium, in the case of an accident the insured would be responsible to shell out $500 before the insurance company pays for the remaining damage costs.

Full-Coverage Option: Placing full coverage on a vehicle will provide both collision and comprehensive coverage. Essentially what this means in real terms is the vehicle is “fully covered” in case of an auto insurance claim. The insurance policy will pay both collision and comprehensive claims. Collision claims are self explanatory while comprehensive coverage is used for non-car collision events such as hitting a deer or cracking the windshield.

The other less expensive coverage options include comprehensive coverage, and PLPD (state required minimums). Personal liability and property damage coverage (PLPD) does not provide coverage for the vehicle, only for liability and property damage. Talk with your agent, however it is strongly recommended to place “full coverage” on the car.

Uninsured Motorist/Under Insured Motorist: This is a crucial coverage to add to your insurance policy and it should be thought of as an absolute necessity. If your agent has not spoken with you about this he or she may not have YOUR best interests in mind. When a driver is held legally responsible and is at fault in an auto accident, the driver must pay bodily injury expenses for policy holder and passengers. If this driver does not have the required state minimum liability and property damage coverage, uninsured/under insured motorist coverage is used for this case.

In the state of Michigan insurance is no-fault, meaning that regardless of which driver is at fault, each individual’s insurance policy will pay a claim. However if the driver is legally liable for sustained injuries and property damages, then the injured party can sue the driver for compensation. Therefore even in the state of Michigan it is imperative to carry uninsured motorist coverage. Imagine how it would feel to not receive fair compensation because you overlooked this basic coverage. 

Liability: This coverage on the auto insurance is equally as important as insuring the vehicle itself. Liability insurance can be sold as a separate policy to supplement coverage. Before analyzing the need for an “umbrella policy” it is important to place the proper liability limits on the auto insurance policy. Liability coverage is used to protect the insured party from legal costs and payouts that he or she is responsible for following an auto accident. The most common liability split limits are 100/300, however it is advised that most Michigan residents now carry 250/500 or 500/500.

The split limit amounts are in thousands and are measured by compensation per person/per accident. For example, if a driver is legally liable for bodily injury and property damage payouts, the insurance policy will use liability coverage to pay the insured party. If John carries the appropriate 500/500, the insured driver will receive up to 500,000 per person and a total of 500,000 per accident. Make sure you speak with an insurance agent about your assets and how much liability coverage you need. 

Don’t forget these five important areas of a Michigan auto insurance policy deductibles, full-coverage, under insured motorist, uninsured motorist, and liability. While insurance is not a fun subject, protecting yourself and your family trumps everything.

Drive safe Michigan,

Michael Moran

Managing Partner @ IHG Management