How to File a Mini Tort Claim in Michigan
Every Michigan driver should know what a mini-tort claim involves, such as how difficult it can be for an average driver who has never filed a claim before. Some people hire an attorney to help file a mini-tort claim. However, it is not necessary if you learn five important steps to filing a mini-tort claim.
Get the At-Fault Party’s Information
Gather the at-fault party's:
- Insurance company
- 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 can 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.
Get a Copy of the Police Report
A police report should explain in detail what happened in the accident. It should also list who is at fault. To pursue a mini-tort claim, you need to be less than 50 percent 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.
Get an Estimate
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.
Get a Copy of your Insurance Declaration Page
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 shows not only 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.
Call Your Agent and Notify the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company
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 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.