Uninsured drivers cost everyone, but, perhaps it is insured motorists who have to bear the burden the most. Because of the burden on law-abiding citizens with insurance (including “uninsured motorist insurance”), some states have harsher penalties for driving uninsured than others. Michigan is one of those states where the cost of being uninsured is far greater than the cost of minimum coverage auto insurance.
As DUI and other alcohol-related convictions raise insurance premiums, the inability to afford an automobile insurance policy is common in Michigan, especially if there are drunk driving convictions present. Not only does a DUI conviction raise the cost of insurance, but, the installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device can raise the overall costs of the criminal conviction. Additionally, the costs associated with the conviction (ignition interlock device, insurance, court costs, etc.) may prevent an offender from restoring driving privileges. With suspended or revoked driving privileges due to a DUI conviction, and without an ignition interlock device installed, the offender may not even be able to obtain insurance. Unfortunately, that same offender may still operate a vehicle illegally, without insurance, and perhaps under the influence of alcohol.
In Michigan, uninsured drivers:
- Cannot sue for pain and suffering damages.
- Must pay for any personal medical bills related to the accident and must also pay for any personal vehicle damage.
- Will not be reimbursed for lost wages.
- Can be sued and held personally accountable for another person’s pain and suffering damages as well as medical bills, lost wages, and damage to the other person’s car.
- Can be fined between 200 and 500 dollars, or even have a driver’s license suspended or revoked.
- May be charged with a misdemeanor offense.
Because of the high costs associated with “high risk” auto insurance, many drivers believe it is possible to drive without insurance. Unfortunately, these risky drivers may also have multiple drunk driving conviction, ignition interlock devices installed on vehicles, or just not care about the lives at risk due to poor judgment. In Michigan, tough laws on uninsured motorists help protect everyone from the financial, and sometimes tragic, results of high risk drivers and convicted DUI offenders.