Auto insurance is an area of personal finance that we do not handle directly. Thankfully, we have awesome partners to lean on who are available to help our clients answer any questions that they might have! One such partner is Jordan Kamer with Farm Bureau Insurance – Nolan Kamer Agency in Holland, MI. I recently had the opportunity to pick Jordan’s brain about a number of topics including, auto insurance reform, an upcoming refund for drivers, and Farm Bureau Insurance. Check out our Q&A below:
Alex Overbeek: There has been much said about auto reform these last few years. Can you explain what happened in non-technical language?
Jordan Kamer: Before July 2 2020, Michigan had some of the best auto insurance benefits, but also had some of the highest costs. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) plans provided unlimited coverage for everyone who was injured, which became very expensive for the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Fund (MCCA). Some drivers who could not afford the higher costing coverage were driving uninsured. Drivers will now have a choice to lower their coverage for the medical portion of PIP by relying on their own health insurance for their medical bills, or choosing a medical limit on their auto insurance. The state also put a recommendation of drivers having a minimum of $250,000/$500,000 liability limit on their auto policies, because at fault drivers can now be sued for medical expenses that they were not responsible for prior to change in 2020.
AO: As a result of auto reform, what should people be looking for as they review their policies?
JK: One of the biggest things to look at while reviewing your auto policy is your liability limits. As I mentioned before, the state recommends a minimum 250/500 liability limit. But we recommend a limit that will at least protect the assets you have.
AO: Are there any other questions or concerns that policy owners should be asking their insurance agent?
JK: Talk to your agent to review your auto policies to make sure you have the coverage you need in case of an accident. There are a handful of small coverage items on an auto policy most people do not think twice about, or even know what they are. But for only a few dollars a year, some of these smaller coverages can make a huge difference if an accident occurs. (I.E. Property Damage, ERS, Rental, Replacement cost)
AO: I heard something about $400 car insurance refund checks. Can you explain why and who will be receiving those?
JK: The refund coming back to insureds is due to a statewide overfunding of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association(MCCA) PIP Unlimited Fund. Any vehicle that had “bodily injury coverage” as of 11:59PM on 10/31/2022 will be eligible for the $400/vehicle refund.($80 per classic vehicle) Insurance companies will be disbursing the amount owed back to eligible drivers throughout the next few months.
AO: What are some things that make Farm Bureau Insurance different from your competition?
JK: One of the biggest things about Farm Bureau, is that we are a Michigan Insurance company. Focusing insurance on Michigan gives us a chance to help give back to our state. Farm Bureau has multiple funds and charities we work with. One of the biggest is the ACF (Agent Charitable Fund) whose mission is to end hunger in Michigan. Since 2018 they’ve donated 3 refrigerated semi-trailers to the Michigan Food bank to deliver food across the state. In just 2021 alone, the ACF granted over $316,000, served over 570,000 children, and provided over 1,018,600 meals to hungry families in our state. Starting in 2022, Farm Bureau Insurance is donating $1 for every policy, new and renewal. That’s over $600,000 from the residence and members of Farm Bureau Insurance. No other insurance in the state has the capability to do what we do. Protecting our insureds and helping our communities end hunger.
Thanks again to Jordan for his participation in this week’s blog post. If you have any questions for Jordan you can reach him at (616) 403-6472 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Nolan Kamer Agency and his associates are not affiliated with LPL Financial or Provisio Retirement Partners