If you own a truck with a snowplow and clear driveways in the winter for extra cash, you probably already know that you need to have a commercial auto policy for proper coverage. You also probably know that if you have other drivers plowing on your behalf you'll need to add hired and non-owned auto coverage, as well as making sure those drivers and their trucks are properly covered. But this article is about..."the OTHER guy..."
You know that guy, the one who has a truck stowed away in his barn that he pulls out each winter and hooks on his snowplow. He's only planning to clear snow on his own property, so he doesn't see any need to add the no-fault liability coverage to his truck. Why bother with insurance, he's only going to clear his own driveway, right? Well that's what he thinks, until the day of...THE ACCIDENT!
Let me tell you the story of Mr. Unlucky. He was that "OTHER guy" and didn't add his snowplow truck to his insurance that winter. One day, he was out in his driveway clearing away a fresh snowfall, when along came Suzy Snowlover happily driving down the road. Oops! Suzy hit an icy patch and suddenly her car was careening through Mr. Unlucky's front yard and rolled right into his snowplow truck. Poor Mr. Unlucky got pretty banged up and had some vehicle damage too! Suzy fared better, but her car was damaged extensively. Uh-oh! Now what? Doesn't everybody's own policy pay for their own damage in Michigan? Yes, but remember, Mr. Unlucky wasn't insured....
The Michigan No-Fault law states that if you are in an uninsured vehicle and involved in an accident, then you can (and will) be liable for ALL the damages. And, you can be charged for legal fees and court costs. In addition, the State may charge you financial responsibility fees and your future insurer will also have additional fees on your coverage. It's a very costly proposition.
So what happened to Mr. Unlucky? The accident was Suzy's fault, right? Well, Suzy Snowlover had her Michigan No-Fault coverage in place, so she was protected by her policy. She didn't have to pay a penny. Mr. Unlucky was not protected by the no-fault coverage, so he ended up having to foot ALL of the bills: his own medical costs, his own vehicle damage AND Suzy's vehicle damage. Thankfully, Suzy wasn't seriously injured or Mr. Unlucky would have been on the hook for much, much more. Sounds unlikely? Well this scenario REALLY happened, here, in Northern Michigan! (The names were changed to protect the innocent!)
Moral of the Story: Call your agent! Insure ALL the vehicles you use! Don't cut corners. View your auto insurance for what it is: PROTECTION from serious financial harm.
Until next time...I'm still yet...
(Drive safely folks!)