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With a healthy mix of farmland, lake communities, small towns and cities, you’ll typically need a car to experience everything Minnesota has to offer. But to legally get behind the wheel, the state’s law requires that drivers carry more than liability insurance — you’ll need coverage protecting not just you, but other drivers as well.
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Common car insurance discounts
To save on your car insurance, ask about available discounts. Options will vary depending on the insurer, but common discounts include good student, multi car, anti-theft, multi-policy, paid-in-full, homeowner’s, defensive driver and safety device discounts.
Average insurance costs in Minnesota
Minnesota’s drivers can expect to pay right around the national average for car insurance, which is $1200-1300 annually.
However, because car insurance rates are influenced by so many outside factors, you could still end up with a rate that’s better than average. You could also wind up paying significantly more than you want. Some of the factors involved in calculating car insurance rates are:
Age.Young drivers under 25, as well as seniors, will pay more for car insurance.Drivers under 25 — and especially male drivers under 25 — are believed by the insurance industry to be at high risk for car accidents. This means the older you get, the lower your car insurance rates will tend to be, until you reach a certain age.
Gender.Men can often expect higher premiums. This is sometimes further modified by age and marital status; the differences in cost between men and women mostly disappear by the age of 35.
Driving experience.L platers and P platers typically pay more, which often compounds the effect of age on premiums.
Type of car.You might think screaming down the highway in a red Corvette sounds like fun, and you’re probably right, but luxury and sports cars are almost always more costly to insure than sedans and minivans. This is for several reasons, but mostly because fast cars tend to be driven fast, putting these cars and their drivers at a higher risk for accidents.
Occupation.People who have long commutes or who drive around all day for work — say, outside sales representatives or transporters — can expect higher premiums. However, many professionals who drive a lot have work vehicles, or else have car insurance coverage through their employers to cover their mileage when they’re on the clock.
Marital status.Single people are seen by insurers as less stable than their married counterparts. If you get married, you’ll see your premiums decrease right away.
Location.Some places are at higher risk of theft, vandalism and other potential hazards, which incurs higher costs.Urban drivers are at higher risk for an accident than people who live far outside the city limits. Similarly, if one area is more prone to flooding or storms you may expect this to impact your premiums.
Claims history.The more car insurance claims you have made in the past, the higher your premiums will generally be.
Driving record.The more violations you have on your driving record, the more you can expect to pay for your car insurance. If you’re notorious for speeding, driving under the influence or trying to start a drag race at every red light, your insurer will likely know about it and raise prices accordingly.
Credit score.Like it or not, nearly all auto insurance providers use your credit score to help calculate your risk before arriving at a policy cost. This is because multiple independent studies indicate that if your credit score is low, you’re more likely to be involved in an accident. However, there are a few states where car insurance providers aren’t allowed to use credit to determine rates — California, Massachusetts and Hawaii.
Other drivers.Only certain people will be approved to drive the car, and all of them impact the cost. Even the world’s safest driver will get a substantial price hike by listing another less-safe driver on the policy.
Typical driving habits.Your typical distance driven, how often you get behind the wheel and where you drive all play a part in your car insurance prices.
Car insurance laws in Minnesota
Depending on where you live, your state will require specific minimums for car insurance coverage. To legally drive in Minnesota, you need to carry at least:
$30,000 bodily injury liability per person.
$60,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
$10,000 property damage liability per accident.
When shopping for car insurance in Minnesota, you may see these liability limits written as 30/60/10.
About 20 states also require that its drivers carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to protect you against accidents with drivers that aren’t adequately covered by a car insurance policy. Minnesota is of those states, requiring:
$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person.
$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage total per accident.
$40,000 personal injury protection.
Optional coverage in Minnesota
If you plan to drive along Minnesota’s picturesque roads, you might want additional coverage for peace of mind. If you lease a car or have a loan on your vehicle, it may not be a choice — many banks and dealerships require comprehensive insurance during the life of the loan or lease.
Most car insurance providers offer optional protection that includes:
Loan/lease gap coverage. If an accident totals a car that you’re financing or leasing, this coverage pays the difference between what your insurer will cover and the remainder of your existing loan or lease.
Emergency Roadside Service. Helps cover the costs associated with emergencies that tend to leave you on the side of the road: towing your vehicle to a repair shop if it is not able to be driven, changing a tire, etc.
Custom parts and equipment (CPE). Helps cover permanently installed custom parts or equipment, devices, accessories, enhancements, etc. that alter the vehicle’s performance or appearance.
What if I don’t have insurance?
When driving in Minnesota, you’ll need to keep proof of insurance in your vehicle at all times. Drivers who can’t produce proof risk losing their license, registration and license plates for up to a year, in addition to a $30 fee to get them back. You could also be required to pay between $200 and $3,000 in fees — or even face jail time.
Digital ID cards on smartphones or other devices can also serve as valid proof of insurance, according to Minnesota state law.
Uninsured driver statistics in Minnesota
In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, about 11% of all motorists are uninsured or underinsured — which is pretty near the national average of 12.6%. To protect yourself against these motorists, uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance. To learn more about this kind of coverage and why it might be a good idea, read our guide on the topic.
Drunk driving laws in Minnesota
Minnesota’s drunk driving laws use the same standards as the rest of the US — having a BAC over 0.08% is enough to get a DUI, and if you’re a commercial driver, all it takes is a BAC of 0.04%.
Anyone who’s caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can expect some stiff fines, a license suspension and possibly even jail time or community service hours, depending on the severity of the offense. For example, if you have a minor in the vehicle when arrested for DUI, if your BAC is above 0.16% or if you cause severe damages or bodily injuries you can expect a longer jail sentence, larger fines and a longer license suspension or revocation.
Fines and fees
Up to 90 days
Up to $1,000
Up to 1 year
Up to $3,000
Up to 1 year
Possible if IID (Ignition Interlock Device) is used
Up to 1 year
Up to $3,000
Possible 3-year restricted license after license revocation sentence is served
Fourth (felony charge)
Up to 7 years
Up to $14,000
Possible 3-5 years of restricted driving after suspension is served; vehicle may be forfeited
Minnesota’s implied consent law
If you’re driving in Minnesota, the police have de facto consent to perform a roadside alcohol breath test or field sobriety test if they suspect you’ve been drinking. This means if you refuse a sobriety or alcohol breath test for any reason, you’re likely to face fines, a license suspension and even jail time — and that’s regardless of whether you were even drinking in the first place.
Because of this law and the consequences of violating it, most lawyers recommend taking a breathalyzer or sobriety test when a police officer asks you to.
SR-22 insurance in Minnesota
You might need an SR-22 if you’ve gotten a DUI, lost your license or have too many violation points on your driving record. SR-22 tells the state you have the minimum coverage required to get back behind the wheel. To learn more about SR-22 insurance filings, check out our guide on the topic.
What happens after an accident in Minnesota?
While you can hope you’ll never be involved in an accident in Minnesota, it’s best to prepare. From fender benders to multicar collisions, you’ll want to first make sure all parties are OK before lining up your info to process a claim.
Safety first. Ensure that no one involved or near the accident has been injured. If everyone is OK and you don’t think it’s dangerous, try to move your vehicle to the side of the road. It’s usually a good idea to give the local police a call so they can help.
Exchange information. You’re legally required to provide your insurance and contact information to drivers involved in an accident. Don’t forget to take down their information too, including details like their vehicle’s make and model, their insurance policy and how to contact them.
Notify your insurance agent. Call your insurance company before you leave the scene. An agent will be able to guide you through more specific next steps and answer any questions you have.
Document the scene. Take pictures of the scene from multiple angles, focusing on any damages. Get the contact information of any potential witnesses.
Who’s at fault after an accident?
Minnesota is one of the handful of states in the US that requires drivers to carry no-fault insurance or personal injury liability coverage. This protects drivers and passengers involved in car accidents — regardless of who’s at fault for the crash.
When speaking with other drivers or witnesses, do not admit fault to them — even if you feel guilty or the accident was clearly your fault. If you do admit guilt, your car insurance company could refuse to pay your claim.
What is no-fault insurance?
No-fault insurance applies to bodily injury and not damages to your car. If another driver damages your car or other property in an accident, file a claim with their insurance company rather than your own. The other driver’s property damage liability coverage should help pay the damages.
When should I report an accident to the authorities in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, you’re required to report an accident to the police immediately if you’re involved in an accident that results in injury, death or damages of $1,000 or more to the property of any one person.
Not reporting a serious accident could have large consequences, including felony charges if the damages or injuries were severe enough. If you’re not sure whether to report an accident, it’s usually best to contact the local police department and explain your situation — they’ll know whether it warrants an official accident report or investigation.
Exploring the best of Minnesota’s attractions might be fun, but it’s sure to involve a lot of driving. Having the most adequate level of insurance coverage for your needs can provide peace of mind while you’re out on the road.
Get the best price on your car insurance by shopping around for the coverage — and discounts — that are right for you. To learn more about these topics, from rules and regulations to finding the best rates and coverage options, visit our comprehensive guide on car insurance.
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Common questions about car insurance in Minnesota
Car insurance rates vary depending on the provider but are often influenced by your driving record, age, gender, city and state and your car’s year, make and model.
Every driver has a right to obtain car insurance in Minnesota. If you’re denied car insurance based on your driving history or any other factor, get in touch with a licensed agent to ask about the Minnesota Automobile Insurance Plan, which provides coverage to higher-risk drivers.
Your car insurance rates could increase if you file a claim. Insurance companies reserve the right to increase your rates or even cancel your coverage after a claim. But these actions are typically reserved for drivers exhibiting risky driving behaviors, filing multiple claims in a short time period or receiving multiple tickets or DUI/DWIs. You’ll receive notification before any cancellation.
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