The state of Minnesota requires all drivers on public roads to carry certain minimum amounts of auto insurance.
While inexpensive policies are available that meet only these minimum requirements, they may not be the wisest investment given how much an accident can end up costing you.
Minnesota Insurance Minimums
Operation of most motorized vehicles anywhere outside of private property requires the owner to carry liability, no-fault and uninsured motorist insurance in Minnesota. Mopeds require only liability insurance.
No-fault insurance guarantees you coverage for medical expenses and loss of income regardless of who was at fault in the accident. The minimum coverage amount in Minnesota is $20,000 for each category.
Liability insurance covers damages when you are found to be at fault in an accident. Your policy must have a minimum of $60,000 in coverage for injuries to other people and $10,000 for property damage. The law specifies a minimum of $30,000 coverage per person that is injured in an accident, however.
If you are found at fault in an accident and more than two people are injured, you may be held personally liable for the full amount of injury to these additional parties if you only have the minimum coverage.
You are also required by the state to have coverage that pays for your injuries if an uninsured or underinsured motorist is at fault. Why are you obligated to pay for insurance to cover another party’s mistakes?
It’s because if an uninsured motorist flees the scene, there really isn’t any good way to track them down unless you get their license plate number. And even if they can be found, uninsured drivers also usually do not have enough money to pay for judgments against them.
That’s why Minnesota requires all drivers to have at least $50,000 in total injury coverage ($25,000) per person that provides for them if they are hit by someone who doesn’t possess adequate means.
Should You Opt For Extra Coverage?
Most auto insurance companies offer some standard add-ons in addition to the mandatory coverage categories. These include roadside assistance packages, coverage for damages not related to traffic accidents (such as theft or vandalism), and rental car coverage. The amounts of coverage for accident damage can also be increased, of course.
Given that over 10% of Minnesota drivers are estimated to be on the road without any insurance, and that this number can rise to as high as 25% in other states, many drivers find it prudent to purchase an added level of underinsured and uninsured motorist protection.
Drivers in Minnesota are additionally at higher-than-average risk of encountering a driver impaired by alcohol, and also face the added environmental risk of long winters with roads that are frequently icy and slushy. Given these added risks, many drivers opt for more collision coverage that is mandatory.
If you’re interested in a roadside assistance package from an insurer, shop around with third-party organizations that specialize in this service like AAA first. They may offer a better price, or a better overall value given the range of discounts at retail stores, rental car agencies, and hotels they provide to members.
As far as added rental car insurance goes, if you are paying for rentals with a Visa card, you may already have automatic insurance. Consult your membership guide to find out if your Visa is already providing this added coverage for free.
Can A Financier Force You To Pay For Added Coverage?
Yes. Under state law, if you are financing a vehicle, the financier can require you to purchase additional coverage under the terms of the loan. It is important to check the status of this when financing a vehicle as if you do not purchase the required coverage independently, the provider of the loan can purchase the coverage for you and roll the costs into your monthly payments automatically.
Generally speaking, when they purchase the coverage, it will end up costing you more than if you had obtained the same coverage on your own.
While insurance may seem like a waste of money sometimes, it pays off tremendously when an accident happens. That only holds true if the insurance company holds up their end of the bargain, however.
If you feel that an insurance company may have unfairly denied your claim or is engaging in illegal stalling tactics, contact us to learn how to assert your legal rights.