What is Mini Tort?

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By Sandra Czak

What on Earth is Mini Tort?

Is it a Very Small Tortoise?

Is it a Tiny Pastry?

So many people here in Michigan hear the term “mini tort” and have no clue what their insurance agent is talking about. Here is a rundown on what you need to know about Mini Tort.

Also known as “Limited Property Damage”, victims of auto accidents can recover a maximum of $1,000 (it used to be $500 before 2012) for vehicle damage from the driver/insurance that caused the crash. This is called a mini tort claim.

Here is how it works:

Someone hits your car and it is damaged:

Scenario 1: you don’t have Collision coverage on your car: you can collect up to $1000 from the person (or their insurance) that hit you to fix your car. If your damage is only $348 you only get $348… you must provide a body shop estimate (you don’t just get a free $1,000, sorry folks!). Also note that your car must be properly insured.

Scenario 2: you have Basic Collision: you can collect up to $1,000 to cover your deductible. If you have a $500 deductible you only get to file $500 of Mini Tort.

Scenario 3: you have Broad Collision: you cannot collect Mini Tort because your own insurance pays out in a not at fault accident with no deductible.

Note: You cannot use Mini Tort for anything but damage to your car. If you are injured a separate coverage called personal injury protection covers that.

Note: Under Mini Tort the person who hit you has to be 51% or more at fault in an accident.

To file:

  1. Get the at Fault Party’s information: Name, Insurance Company, Agent, Policy number, Phone number, Vehicle Involved. If they don’t have insurance you can sue them.
  2. Get a Police Report.
  3. Get an Estimate at a body shop. Notify the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company. They will want the date, the name of the At Fault Party, their policy number, the cars involved. They will also want your name, policy number and vehicle information. They will need a copy of the estimate and your declarations page. Once you or your agent have called the claim in, you should be all set.
  4. Call your Agent and get your Declarations Page.