The cost of car insurance seems to be through the roof. It's something you gotta have if you own a car, but, man, writing that check hurts. So, is it that way everywhere? Nope!

According to The Zebra, an insurance search engine and the largest car insurance comparison marketplace in the U.S., car insurance rates are at an all-time high in the U.S., but none higher than across Michigan, and that's been for several years.

Detroit has the highest rates in our state, but here in the Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek area, car insurance rates are up 14% over 2011 – lower than the 20% increase we’re seeing nationwide, but still among the highest premiums across the country.

A recent study I found by The Zebra revealed current average annual auto insurance premiums for:
• Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek: $2,360
• Detroit: $3,326
• Michigan: $2,610
• U.S.: $1,427

Ouch!! We're paying almost $1,000 more than the national average, per year!

So what's up? The experts say some severe weather including winter and summer storms, wind, and hail causing substantial damage is a part of the reason. Michigan does have a high rate of uninsured drivers, lucky us. But, the most significant factor, however, is the way no-fault insurance benefits are structured under Michigan laws. Michigan stands alone in that it allows for an unlimited amount of lifetime benefits for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which may be leading to an huge amount of medical fraud in the state.

Hmmm.....what do you think? No-fault good/bad? Why so many uninsured drivers? Because rates are too high due to no-fault? What a catch 22!