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Minnesota car insurance laws were enacted to ensure that all drivers are financially covered in the event of a car accident regardless of who was at fault. This article contains more information about Minnesota car insurance requirements, rates, programs and discounts.
Car Insurance Requirements
All registered vehicles in are required by the state to have the following insurance coverage: No-fault insurance Uninsured motorist insurance Liability insurance.
No-fault coverage is sometimes referred to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This insurance coverage will help you pay your own medical cost if you are involved in a no-fault accident. Personal Injury Protection coverage extends to your household family members. The following are minimum limits of Minnesota’s PIP coverage:
- $20,000 for medical coverage
- $20,000 for loss of income.
Your PIP will also cover you if you are involved in an accident while travelling in somebody else’s car. Passengers travelling in your car will be covered by their own PIP coverages.
The law also requires you to purchase liability auto insurance to help you cover the cost of property damage and injuries caused to others in the event of an accident that you might cause. The following minimum limits apply to your liability insurance:
- $30,000 for injuries per person per accident
- $60,000 for total injuries per accident
- $10,000 for property damage.
While Minnesota car insurance is a requirement by law, many drivers still drive their vehicles without insurance. Your insurance policy must therefore include Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage. This policy pays for injuries that result from an accident with a driver with inadequate insurance cover, or a driver without insurance. The minimum limits for these coverages are:
- $25,000 for injuries per person
- $50,000 for total injuries in an accident.
Optional Car Insurance
While Minnesota car insurance laws require you to have minimum insurance coverages, you may opt to purchase other optional insurance coverages to help protect you further. You may consider purchasing the following types of optional coverages:
- Collision – Insurance cover that helps pay for damages made to your car after an accident
- Comprehensive – Insurance cover that pays for damages resulting from all accident related events such as fire, floods etc
- Rental car
- Roadside assistance.
Minnesota law does not force you to purchase comprehensive or collision car insurance. However, these two insurance coverages are required by your bank or lease company as part of your financial agreement. You can let your lender purchase these two insurance coverages and charge you as part of the loan.
Proof of Insurance in Minnesota
You must carry proof of insurance all the times when you are driving your car on the road. Proof of insurance comes in form of insurance ID card, which must be shown to traffic officers when you are stopped. Proof of insurance can be either of the following:
- Your car insurance ID card
- A signed letter from your insurance carrier
- Copy of your insurance policy page declaration.
If you have insurance policy but fail to show proof of it when you are stopped by a traffic officer, your charges may be dropped if you provide proof of insurance when you are charged. If you are caught driving without car insurance, you face the following penalties:
- A $200 minimum fine
- Possible imprisonment
- Driver’s license suspension
- Vehicle registration suspension.
To reinstate your driver’s license or vehicle registration after suspension, you must pay a $30 fine to the DVS.
Minnesota Automobile Insurance Plan
Car insurance companies have the right to deny insurance coverage for high risk drivers. So, if you are considered a high risk driver, you can apply for insurance coverage through Minnesota Automobile Insurance Plan. Through this plan, Minnesota car insurance companies share the risk associated with high-risk drivers. Minnesota requires all car insurance companies to participate in this plan to ensure that all drivers regardless of their driving records get insurance cover. To get started, you can apply for coverage to MNAIP through any local car insurance agent in Minnesota. Keep in mind that insurance through MAIP comes with higher rates.
Car Insurance Fraud
Dealing with car insurance fraud is the greatest headache of all Minnesota car insurance companies. These frauds bring lots of losses to insurance companies. These losses trickle down to consumers by increasing insurance premiums. Car insurance fraud often involves:
- Staging car accidents
- Falsifying insurance documents
- Reporting false injuries
- Exaggerating costs of car repair.
If you suspect car insurance fraud, you can report it to the Minnesota Department of Commerce by phone at (888) 372-8366.
Determining Your Premium
In Minnesota, insurance companies are allowed to use the following factors when calculating your insurance premium:
- Driving record
- Credit score
- Your car’s make, model and year
- Age and gender
Car Insurance Discounts in Minnesota
You can save on car insurance by taking advantage of the following car insurance discounts:
- Homeowner’s discount
- Safe driver discount
- Good student discount
- Multi-car discount
- Safety device discount
- Anti-theft discount
- Accident prevention course discount.
In fact these discounts can save you a lot of money, but the best way to get low cost insurance premiums is by keeping a clean driving record.
Most Stolen Cars in Minnesota
Driving a car that is always targeted by thieves may increase your car insurance rates. According to www.nicb.org, the 2013 most stolen car in Minnesota include:
- Honda Accord and Honda Civic
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Toyota Camry
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Dodge Caravan
- Chevrolet Impala
- Honda CR-V
- Acura Integra
- Ford Taurus.