With auto reform right around the corner, it is time to make sure that your fiscal fitness strategy is keeping up with your physical fitness routine. Whether you watch the local news, read a newspaper, or scroll through social media you have probably heard the news regarding the auto reform changes that are set to take place beginning July 2, 2020.
Much like your physical regimen and diet, auto insurance reform is all about choices. As an auto insurance consumer in Michigan, you will now have to decide what level of Personal Injury Protection (PIP medical) is sufficient to meet the needs of your family. It is important to know the limitations of your health insurance policy.
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This includes knowing the annual deductible and limits, along with if the policy will respond to an auto accident. Keep in mind, health insurance contracts are altered over time, employment status can change, and family dynamics evolve.
As an insured, you want to be confident that your auto insurance will be there for you in the event of an accident regardless of how your life changes.
Another important aspect of auto reform is that our state is changing from a pure no-fault state. Under the current system, all insured drivers in Michigan have unlimited PIP coverage which pays for their medical expenses from auto accidents. Now that auto insurance consumers can opt for lower PIP medical coverage, you could be found liable for another person’s injuries as the result of an accident and sued for their medical expenses. With the upcoming changes, we expect to see a much more litigious environment in Michigan.
So, the question becomes how do I protect myself? How do I find that level of comfort that helps maintain mental well-being? At Ackley-Peters-Haubert Insurance, we have always believed in the value of the executive umbrella policy. However, with the auto reform changes, these asset protection policies are more important than ever. In short, an executive umbrella is a policy that provides an extra layer of liability protection above and beyond your auto, home, boat, and recreational vehicle insurance policies. Limits start at $1,000,000 and can be increased in $1,000,000 increments.
We would strongly encourage everyone to assess their assets and determine what a realistic amount of protection looks like. Keep in mind, the State of Michigan has made it very clear that assets can be seized, liens placed on your home and wages garnished to satisfy a judgment. The time and costs associated with obtaining an umbrella policy are a great tradeoff for your fiscal fitness.
Financial wellness is a key component of your overall health. Similar to how you visit your doctor for a physical, talk to your independent insurance agent for your annual fiscal checkup.
Karri McManus, CPCU, is an account manager at Ackley-Peters-Haubert Insurance Service in Eaton Rapids. She can be reached at (517) 663-2651.