No Fault Auto Insurance is the law in Michigan. Now police officers will have a new tool to check insurance before ever stopping your vehicle.
No Fault Auto Insurance is Mandatory
Every driver in Michigan is required to maintain no fault auto insurance to cover their own and their passengers’ medical expenses in case of an accident. Many auto dealers will not let you close the deal on a car without proof that you already have it insured. And you can’t register a vehicle or get a license plate without proof of insurance.
But even so, thousands of Michigan drivers are ticketed for driving without proper insurance every year. Others, it appears, have attempted to cover themselves using fake proofs of insurance.
To try and stop fraudulent auto insurance, the Secretary of State requires insurance companies to provide a report of all their covered vehicles twice a month. But until recently, that information was not immediately available to cops on the street. Police relied on the paperwork provided, or not provided, by drivers to determine whether there was insurance on the vehicle.
A New Tool to Check Auto Insurance
But now, the Secretary of State and the Michigan State Police have coordinated to give officers access to a vehicle’s insurance information through their in-car computer. The Law Enforcement Information Network (LIEN), which police use to look up outstanding warrants and vehicle registrations will now also include information about whether the vehicle is covered by insurance. According to Amy Dehner, a legislative liaison with the Michigan State Police:
“We’re kind of excited about it, given its ability to help us target fraudulent insurance or people, frankly, who are driving around with no insurance, which is dangerous for everybody.”
Dehner says that police will not be using lack of insurance as a primary reason for a stop. Nor is it a resource for real-time information – after all the records will only be updated every two weeks. That also means drivers will still be required to carry proof of valid insurance. However, the new system will help officers spot false and outdated insurance documents and get more uninsured motorists off the road.
If you get into an accident while driving without insurance, you won’t be able to access Michigan’s comprehensive no fault auto insurance. You will have to pay for all of your own medical bills, and could be responsible for the costs of passengers and other drivers as well. That is why it is so important for you to get and maintain proper no fault auto insurance for every vehicle you own. It could be the difference between a quick settlement and a long, painful day in court.
David Christensen is an auto attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He and his team have been helping the victims of car crashes for over 20 years, including cases with uninsured motorists. If you know someone who has been injured in an automobile accident, contact Christensen Law for a free consultation today.