Auto insurance requirements in Minnesota
As in most other states, Minnesota has laws requiring a certain level of auto insurance coverage to be carried by every driver. These minimums exist to protect you and other drivers. If you are unable to provide proof of insurance when pulled over or following an accident, you could face serious penalties. Take a look at these state-required minimums and The Zebra's breakdown of what each coverage entails below.
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||Uninsured Motorist (UM)/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage|
$40,000 per person per accident:
How does personal injury protection work in Minnesota?
Minnesota is a no-fault state. No-fault insurance stipulates that any bodily injury claims must be made through your own insurance coverage first, regardless of who was at fault. Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance covers your medical costs, lost wages, replacement services like housekeeping, and $2,000 in funeral expenses in the event of death. Your PIP coverage is the first to pay out in a claim. If your medical expenses are higher than the PIP limit, claims can then be made against the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
Is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage required in Minnesota?
While it is illegal to drive without insurance in the state of Minnesota, some drivers take this risk. Uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist coverages help you in the event you are involved in an incident with an uninsured or underinsured driver who cannot pay to cover your damages.
UM/UIM coverages are split into two categories, similar to those of liability coverage. These categories are bodily injury (UMBI) and property damage (UMPD), with only the bodily injury portion of this coverage being required in Minnesota. The bodily injury portion of your coverage can help in the event that your injuries are higher than your PIP coverage. The property damage portion, while not required, can cover physical damage to your vehicle.
Is liability coverage necessary in Minnesota?
Liability insurance comes into play when you inflict damage or bodily injury on another party. It’s important to remember that it only ever pays out to others, and will never pay for your injuries or damage to your personal belongings.
Liability coverage is split into two separate coverage types: property damage and bodily injury. Since Minnesota is a no-fault state, those you injure must first file bodily injury claims on their PIP coverage. If this amount is exhausted, your liability will pay. As PIP doesn’t apply to property damage, your liability coverage steps in to cover expenses related to damaged property up to your liability limits.
What are Minnesota's state-mandated car insurance limits?
Nearly every state imposes minimum car insurance limits. These limits are simply the lowest amount of coverage that you can carry and still be considered legally able to drive. These limits can often be increased for a modest increase in premiums. Carrying higher limits than those required by the state is often encouraged.
Minnesota law requires more types of coverage than most states, though the limits that they require are not particularly high. Here we’ll break down the limits of each type of coverage so that you can better understand how they work.
Minnesota liability insurance requirements are often written out as three individual numbers: 30/60/10. These are known as split limits. Each number corresponds with a different type of liability coverage: per person, per accident, and property damage, respectively.
- Per-person is the amount that your insurer will cover for any single person injured in an accident caused by you. Your liability coverage will never pay over the “per person” limit for any one person, regardless of how much their medical expenses cost.
- The per-accident limit is the total amount that your insurer will pay out for all injured parties (not in your vehicle) in an accident in which you were at fault. Regardless of how many people are injured, your liability coverage will only pay out up to the “per accident” limit.
- The property damage per accident limit is how much that an insurance company will pay for damages to another party’s property after an accident for which you are at fault.
Do Minnesota’s required minimums provide adequate insurance coverage?
Minnesota requires a higher minimum level of insurance than do many states. However, don't expect state minimums to properly protect you and your assets in every circumstance. For instance, while many bodily injury claims are covered through the injured party’s PIP coverage before tapping into your liability limits, those who sustain serious injury can easily exceed the $30,000 coverage limit.
Furthermore, the $10,000 property damage liability limit is among the smallest limits in the United States. Considering that the average new vehicle in the U.S. costs nearly three times that, leaving your property damage limit so low could leave you exposed to unnecessary risk.
Minnesota penalties for driving without proof of insurance
All drivers must have proof of insurance. A failure to provide proof of insurance is considered a misdemeanor and carries the following penalties:
Those guilty of this offense three times within a 10-year period are guilty of a gross misdemeanor and could face steeper fines and longer stints of license revocation. Furthermore, if you cause an accident while uninsured, you could face jail time as well as additional fines, especially if your accident results in serious injury or death.
Optional Minnesota car insurance coverages
Minnesota law requires drivers to maintain liability, PIP, and UM/UIM insurance coverages. Other types of insurance are available and worth considering, especially if you want to protect your own vehicle. The following coverages are great add-ons to an insurance policy for those seeking extra protection.
- Collision: This coverage pays for damages to your vehicle if you collide with another driver or object (other than animals).
- Comprehensive: Coving many non-collision damages, comprehensive insurance protects your vehicle against perils like theft, weather damage, and hitting an animal. When purchased together, comprehensive and collision coverages are sometimes referred to as “full coverage.”
- Roadside assistance: While the specifics of this coverage vary by company, it typically helps in the event that you need a battery jump, flat-tire change, or a tow to a nearby garage.
Why adhering to Minnesota’s car insurance requirements is important
Car accidents are always unexpected. Insurance provides you with a way of protecting yourself as well as your assets. Because Minnesota’s liability car insurance minimums are quite low, it’s always a good idea to consider increasing them to maintain adequate protection. The best way to increase your coverage while keeping your premiums down is to compare car insurance quotes from a number of different carriers. The Zebra can do just that, giving you a side by side comparison of rates of coverage options from a number of top companies.