How to File a Mini Tort Claim

1
Step 1: Get the At-Fault Party’s Information

Two businessmen exchanging information about damaged cars
Chris Ryan/OJO Images/Getty Images

Mini tort car insurance claims are exclusive to Michigan. Every Michigan driver should know what a mini tort claim involves. Mini tort and property damage claims are the only time coverage is provided by the at-fault party’s insurance policy in the state of Michigan. Five hundred dollars is the maximum paid out for a mini tort claim. Filing a mini tort claim can be difficult for an average driver who has never filed a claim before. Some people hire an attorney to help file a mini tort claim. It is not necessary; learn five important steps to filing a mini tort claim in the state of Michigan.

Gather At-Fault Party’s Information

  • Name
  • Insurance Company
  • Agent
  • Policy Number
  • Phone Number
  • Vehicle involved

If you do not have all the at-fault party’s information, it is nearly impossible to file a mini tort claim. Sometimes you are able to get the information off of a police report, but never rely solely on a police report. Often, the reports are not filled out completely with contact information and insurance company information.

Without the at-fault party’s information, you will not be able to file a claim. In Michigan, if you do not have collision coverage and you are involved in a hit and run, no coverage is provided under your policy. Review your declaration page or ask your agent what coverage is on your insurance policy.

2
Step 2: Get a Copy of the Police Report

Police officer
Zoran Milich/The Image Bank/Getty Images

A police report should explain in detail what happened in the accident. It should also list who is at-fault. In order to pursue a mini tort claim, you need to be less than 50% at-fault. If the police report clearly states this, filing the claim will be easier because it won’t be he said she said.

Police reports can often take over a week to process. Many police reports can be accessed, or even be required to be accessed online for a fee. Your agent may help you get the report if you do not have computer access, but you should be responsible for the fee.

3
Step 3: Get an Estimate

Mechanic under car in auto repair shop
Trevor Adeline/Caiaimage/Getty Images

In order to file a claim, you will need to get an estimate for the repairs. Just get one estimate from your preferred body shop. If the damage is over $1000, you will be capped off at the $1000 limit. Anything above the amount will be your responsibility.

4
Step 4: Get a Copy of your Insurance Declaration Page

Car Insurance Claim Form
Malcolm Nigel Carse/E+/Getty Images

You will need to provide proof of insurance to the at-fault party’s insurance company. They will be looking for a declarations page. The declaration page not only shows a policy's effective dates but also the coverage listed on each vehicle. To file a mini tort claim you must have an active policy with a standard/regular deductible on collision or no collision coverage.

5
Step 5: Call your Agent and Notify the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company

Man chatting on his mobile phone in a coffee shop
Ezra Bailey/Taxi/Getty Images

If you are at the point of actually filing a mini tort claim, an insurance agent can sure come in handy. Most agents will help you file the claim by calling the at-fault party’s insurance company. Since the claim does not actually go on your insurance policy, it is up to the agent whether or not he is willing to help you file a claim on the at-fault party’s policy. Either with or without your agent's help, contact the at-fault party’s insurance agent or carrier.

Provide the following:

  • Date of the accident.
  • At-fault party’s name, policy number, and vehicle involved.
  • Your name, policy number, and vehicle involved.
  • Description of the accident and copy of the police report.
  • A copy of your estimate.
  • A copy of your declarations page.

Once you or your agent have called the claim in, you should be all set. Access to a fax machine helps get the documentation to the insurance company. The company will need to verify all the information, then you should be set to receive your $500 check in the mail. Mini tort claims are relatively simple once you understand the process.