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Does basic insurance fix your car?

People love to price shop when they're looking for new insurance. However, it's important to really think about what you are buying and what it's going to do. Don't assume that the cheapest policy is always going to be the best deal and give you what you're after.

For instance, in Michigan, drivers need to have at least a basic no-fault insurance policy. The goal is to help pay for property damage, injuries and more. Even the basic plan gets you $1 million in coverage if you are in an accident and someone else's property is damaged -- if your car plows through the wall of someone's house, for instance.

So, with that much coverage, you'd probably assume it'd pay to fix your car, right? If so, you're going to be in for a surprise. The basic plan doesn't fix your car after a wreck. There are situations where it can -- like when your car is parked and someone else hits it -- but you generally need to have comprehensive coverage or collision coverage.

Another common misconception is that the coverage can only be for you, the person who paid for it. In reality, it can cover all of your family members. As long as you live together, they can benefit from the policy -- something that becomes very important when children or a spouse are injured.

As you can see, it's important never to assume you know what the insurance policy does. Always look it over before buying and be sure you know your legal rights under state laws.

Source: State of Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, "Brief Explanation of Michigan No-Fault Insurance," accessed March 10, 2017

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