We studied car insurance rates throughout the state of Michigan to help our readers determine which companies offered the most affordable auto insurance quotes. From our study, we found that costs differed a lot depending on where drivers live - commuters in the most expensive city pay nearly 3x what people driving in the cheapest city in Michigan pay. Even within the same city, rates fluctuated depending on insurance company. The cheapest company statewide cost just 19% of what the most expensive carrier was charging - that is savings of 91%, the high end of what comparison shopping can net you. Read our analysis below, or enter your zip code above for a list of cheap auto insurance companies to begin more local comparison shopping:
It's helpful to know which auto insurance companies are more affordable in your state than others, especially since Michigan motorists are paying about 70% more than the average U.S. state for their no-fault benefits. Below we've ranked 17 companies based on their average annual premiums in Michigan to give drivers a starting point in their search for the cheapest rates in the state. Rates are based on four different driver profiles (two single men, and two married couples). We found that Hastings Mutual, a local company, ranked as the cheapest insurer in Michigan with the lowest average rates at $551 annually. Three other companies also had average rates below $1,000 a year: Chubb, MEEMIC Insurance, and Nationwide. However, MEEMIC is only available to educators. Conversely, State Farm was the most expensive with drivers paying over $2,846 per year on average.
*Farm Bureau and MEEMIC are both exclusive insurance. Farm Bureau Car Insurance requires a membership, and annual dues vary between $45 and $50 based on the county you live in.
This can look different depending on where you actually live, drive, and park your car. For those people who'd like to see which insurers operate in your town and have the cheapest rates, just enter your zip code in the box above to start your search:
As we mentioned, where you live plays a large role in determining how much it costs to insure your car. In this section, we'll take a look at costs for the largest cities.
|City||Cheapest Insurer #1||Cheapest Insurer #2||Cheapest Insurer #3|
|Detroit||Hastings Mutual||$759||Farm Bureau||$1,125||Chubb||$1,164|
|Grand Rapids||Hastings Mutual||480||Chubb||579||MEEMIC||609|
|Sterling Heights||Hastings Mutual||531||Chubb||669||MEEMIC||735|
|Ann Arbor||Hastings Mutual||441||Chubb||570||SECURA||624|
Detroit is the most populous city in Michigan and also its most expensive when it comes to auto insurance. This isn't the first time Detroit has found itself towards the top of insurance lists before. It is widely regarded as one of the most expensive auto insurance cities not only in MI but in the entire country. Based on our driver's profile, Detroit's annual rates average $2,396 or 71% more expensive than the state average.
Cheap auto insurance in Detroit does exist, however. We found some of the lowest rates at Hastings Mutual, Farm Bureau, Chubb, and National General. For example, average annual rates of $759 a year at Hastings Mutual can represent savings of 51% for a single 30-year old male driver. Note that, you need to be a Farm Bureau member ($50 annual dues for Macomb County residents) in order to get a Farm Bureau policy. If you are part of the Detroit Public School system, or teaching elsewhere in the Motor City, definitely check out MEEMIC insurance – they only insure educators, and ranked the 4th cheapest in our study with an average $1,176 annual rate.
Grand Rapids, MI
The 2nd largest city in Michigan and less than 30 miles from the eastern shores of Lake Erie, Grand Rapids is nicknamed "River City" for the beautiful Grand River that runs through its center. There are many things to do in Grand Rapids, from golfing, to shopping, hanging at the beach, or even discovering one of the many art exhibits around town. Economically, GR's largest employer is Spectrum Health with almost 20,000 employees. Car insurance rates in Grand Rapids are very favorable despite the city being the second largest in Michigan. We found the average cost to insure a car here to be around $908 a year, making Grand Rapids the 2nd cheapest city in our study.
Hastings Mutual, Chubb, Nationwide, and Wolverine Mutual were several of the most affordable car insurance companies in Grand Rapids based on our comparison data. Overall, their rates will be nearly 59% lower than most – around $575 a year for most of our benchmark drivers. Educators living in Grand Rapids should take advantage of MEEMIC Insurance’s low rates, which were $609 a year – the 3rd lowest among Grand Rapids insurers!
The 3rd largest city in Michigan, Warren is home to more than 134,000 people. It's located about 21 miles north of Detroit, and just 8 miles away from the Lake St. Claire Shores. General Motors’ Cadillac Car division calls Warren home, and tourists find Warren a great anchor point to several of the region’s attractions, such as the Detroit Zoo and the Museum of Contemporary Art. In our analysis, we found Warren to be on the pricier end of the spectrum, with average annual auto insurance rates around $1,360 for our sample drivers.
We recommend adding Hastings Mutual, Chubb, Nationwide, and National General onto your list of insurers to consider. In Warren, these four insurers generally were at least 45% cheaper than most other companies; some, such as Hastings Mutual, offer rates as low as $600 a year. MEEMIC helped to round out the top 5 low-cost car insurance companies in Warren, exclusive to drivers in the education industry.
Sterling Heights, MI
Home to almost 130,000 people, Sterling Heights is the 4th largest city in Michigan. It is one of the core suburbs within the Detroit Metro region, and its calendar is packed with recreational events. Some of the most notable summer events in Sterling Heights include their Memorial Day Parade, Sterlingfest, and the American-Polish Festival. Our benchmark drivers paid about $1,258 a year, or around $105 a month, to insure a Toyota in Sterling Heights.
While the city’s overall premiums were 10% lower than the Michigan average, we still found a wide range in costs between insurers here. For example, at $2,271 a year, Allstate cost the most for a basic liability policy for our four driver profiles. That could have paid for more than 4 years’ worth of policies at Hastings Mutual! As you shop around for the best car insurance rates in Sterling Heights, we suggest including Hastings Mutual, Chubb, SECURA, and Nationwide when getting a quote. If you are an educator, do look into MEEMIC insurance as well, as our benchmark motorists found it to be the 3rd cheapest overall in the city.
Home to the Michigan State University Spartans in addition to being the capital city of Michigan, Lansing is the 6th largest city – very close behind Ann Arbor – in the state with almost 114,000 residents as of 2013. Lansing is also called "The Heart of Michigan" partly because it is quite literally in the center of the state. The state government and MSU provide many of the jobs in Lansing but there's strong private enterprise as well with plenty of national and regional companies keeping their headquarters in the city. The cost of insuring your vehicle in Lansing is $1,071 per year which is 23% cheaper than the state average and more than $1,300 less than residents of Detroit are paying!
To save even more, start comparison shopping at Hastings Mutual, Chubb, Nationwide and National General for some of the cheapest rates. Together, these insurers represent nearly a 57% “discount” on auto insurance quotes when compared to the city’s average. Teachers of Lansing and MSU, also look into MEEMIC for low-cost insurance policies; on average you can save nearly $370 a year!
Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor is home to a large university, the University of Michigan Wolverines. With 114,000 citizens in the city, Ann Arbor is the 6th largest town in "The Great Lakes State". No stranger to awards, Ann Arbor has consistently placed on "Top Places to Live" lists for years and is widely considered a safe and friendly town with a very reasonable cost of living. In our study, the city placed fantastically as well. Ann Arbor was the best city to live in for auto insurance in the state overall with low annual premiums of $871. This makes Ann Arbor 38% cheaper than the average Michigan city.
You can save even more with the right insurer in Ann Arbor. For example, the cheapest insurer, Hastings Mutual, offered quotes that were nearly half the cost of the city’s average; our drivers’ quotes were around $441 a year. We also recommend putting Chubb, SECURA, and Pioneer State Mutual Insurance onto your shortlist if you're looking for the lowest auto insurance quotes in Ann Arbor. If you are a teacher in the U-M, or any other school here, make sure to also include MEEMIC. Its average quotes were almost $200 less than the city’s mean, and is only available to educators.
It's important at least consider the complaint ratio of whatever companies you're looking at for car insurance. If you just look at the premium price there's always a risk that you end up with a company that has great rates but a lousy overall experience (claims servicing is slow, customer service is rude, etc). Below you'll find many of the largest auto insurance operators in Michigan and their corresponding complaint ratio, as published by the Michigan Department of Insurance. The lower the complaint ratio, the better rated a company is:
|Rank||Company||2013 Complaint Ratio||2013 Written Premiums|
|12||Michigan Insurance Company||0.09||43,406,021|
|16||MAIPF (Michigan residual auto insurance market)||0.10||29,289,694|
|22||Pioneer State Mutual||0.11||120,787,270|
|49||American Modern Insurance||0.48||2,104,144|
Michigan's most expensive car insurance rates were in Detroit followed by Dearborn and Flint, among the cities we have studied. Detroit residents were paying an average of nearly $2,400 per year to insure their vehicles while those in Dearborn and Flint were paying $2,009 and $1,669, respectively. Regarding the most affordable cities, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Lansing finished in the top 3 positions with a yearly average of $950 between the three of them.
Here's a look at 10 cities scattered throughout the state and their average annual auto insurance rate. Cities are listed in alphabetical order.
The quotes we compiled were for a 2010 Toyota Camry model. Our hypothetical drivers all drive about 12,000 miles per year in their Camry, which they purchased new for commuting to work. They all have clean driving records in the past 5 years. They also have excellent credit and opted for basic auto insurance coverage. Here is a list of the benchmark driver profiles we used:
- Single Male, age 30
- Single Male, age 65
- Married Couple (2 drivers), age 30
- Married Couple (2 drivers), age 65
We sampled quotes from 17 auto insurance companies and average the sample rates to come up with an average for each city. The companies we looked included but not limited to: State Farm, Nationwide, Allstate, Chubb, Mercury, National General, Auto-Owners, Hastings Mutual, and MEEMIC. Surveyed auto insurance costs in Michigan are for illustrative purposes only and actual quotes will vary based on your physical residence, driving history, and other factors.
Below is a table comparison between the Michigan State auto insurance requirements and limits we used for our analysis. We used a slightly higher coverage than what is required:
|Coverage Type||Michigan Minimum Limits||Analysis Limits|
$20,000 per person /
$40,000 per accident
$25,000 per person /
$50,000 per accident
|Personal Injury Protection||Required||Included|
|Uninsured /Underinsured Motorists Bodily Injury||Optional||
$25,000 per person /
$50,000 per accident