Driving around Minnesota can be a pleasure at times and a challenge at others. Busy streets in the Twin Cities, and winding roads in rural areas, can test a driver´s skill to the limit during Minnesota´s extremes of weather, and this is why having adequate car insurance in Minnesota is vital.
There are no alternative ways to prove financial responsibility when driving in Minnesota other than taking auto insurance, and this page aims to guide you to the cheapest Minnesota car insurance rates without jeopardizing the level of protection you need when driving in the North Star State
Minnesota Car Insurance Requirements
Minnesota is a “no-fault” State for insurance purposes, which means that if you are involved in an accident which results in a personal injury or damage to property, your Minnesota car insurance policy will cover the cost of medical and repair bills up to a certain point. Beyond that point, you would have to claim against the negligent driver´s liability insurance or your own uninsured/underinsured motorist protection if the negligent driver does not have any/sufficient auto insurance in Minnesota.
The minimum liability limits for auto insurance in Minnesota are as follow, but review the section below about “Recommended Minnesota Car Insurance Coverage” before calling you insurance broker!
$30,000 for injury/death to one person
$60,000 for injury/death to more than one person
$10,000 for damage to property
$20,000 personal injury protection for hospital/medical expenses
$20,000 personal injury protection for non-medical expenses (lost wages etc)
$25,000/$50,000 for uninsured/underinsured motorist protection
Minnesota Auto Insurance Laws
Although auto insurance in Minnesota is compulsory, it is estimated by the Insurance Research Council that 12 per cent of Minnesota drivers are using their vehicles without insurance. Drivers must provide evidence of auto insurance in Minnesota whenever they are asked to do so by a police officer, and failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $500.00.
If you do not have any Minnesota car insurance, you will have your driving license and vehicle registration suspended, receive a fine of $500.00 and have to file SR-22 insurance for the next three years. However, as any traffic violation that results in the suspension of a driver´s license (such as DUI) carries an automatic four point penalty on the Minnesota car insurance points system, you may find it difficult to get auto insurance in Minnesota at all!
Minnesota Car Insurance Points System
Car insurance companies in Minnesota operate a car insurance points system which allocates points against your Minnesota auto insurance history if you commit a traffic violation or misdemeanor. The Minnesota car insurance points system is unconnected with any points you collect on your driving license, but can have a negative effect on your chances of getting cheap auto insurance in Minnesota and, in some instance, any insurance at all!
Minnesota car insurance companies have the right to deny renewal of an auto insurance policy if an individual has collected just two points within a three year period. If a household has two vehicles insured with the same Minnesota auto insurance company, the limit is raised to three points, and if four or more cars within the same household are insured by the same company, the limit rises to four points.
Four points are assigned for each of the following:
- Leaving the scene of an accident without stopping to report
- A felony involving the use of a motor vehicle, including manslaughter, criminal negligence, or assault originating out of the use of a motor vehicle.
- Theft of a motor vehicle
- Any violation that results in the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license, such as Driving While Intoxicated, and unlawful driving after your license has been suspended or revoked
Two and one-half points are assigned for:
- Reckless driving
One and one-half points are assigned for:
- Careless driving
One point is assigned for:
- A “chargeable” accident in which the insurer pays more than $500, not including payment made under uninsured or underinsured coverage. A chargeable accident is defined as an accident in which the insurer makes payment under bodily injury, property damage, or collision coverage, but there are several exceptions. (See Minnesota Rules 2770.7700 for a complete definition)
- An open bottle violation
Three-fourths point is assigned for:
- The second and each subsequent speeding violation during the three years preceding the renewal date
One-half point is assigned for:
- The first speeding violation during the three years preceding the renewal date
- A chargeable accident in which total payment by insurer is $500 or less
- Allowing someone in your car to have an open bottle
- All other violations
Further information on the Minnesota Car Insurance Points System can be found in the Minnesota Rules, Chapter 2770.
Recommended Minnesota Auto Insurance Coverage
Although the minimum car insurance liability limits in Minnesota are above the average for the United States, most insurance professionals would suggest that you should have a liability limit of $100,000/$200,000. The addition premium would not be that much, and the increased limit gives you peace of mind if ever you are responsible for an accident which causes an injury. For the same reason, we recommended that you consider having at least $25,000 coverage for damage to property.
The cost of comprehensive car insurance in Minnesota is also not prohibitive and recommended if you live in the north of the State (for damage done to your vehicle if you hit a deer) or in any of the locations listed below in the “Hot Spots” section – where you car is most likely to get stolen in Minnesota. You may also want to consider a minimal level of collision auto insurance in Minnesota if you have a valuable vehicle which would cost a lot to repair if you were at fault in a road traffic accident.
Cheap Minnesota Car Insurance Quotes
The State of Minnesota has laws in place which stipulate that auto insurance discounts must be offered to people in certain circumstances – for example if you are a policyholder aged 55 or older who has completed a defensive driving course (mandatory 10 per cent discount – you may qualify for more!) or if your car has been fitted with an authorized anti-theft device. Other Minnesota car insurance discounts are available if you combine your auto insurance with your homeowner´s insurance or if you are a non-smoker.
The installation of air-bags and automatic seat belts will attract cheap Minnesota car insurance quotes, and some Minnesota auto insurance companies will give you a further discount if your vehicle has anti-lock brakes. Make sure you tell your insurance provider if a young driver on your Minnesota car insurance policy is away at school or, if they are studying close by and using your vehicle, ask for a discount for their good grades – you will be surprised at some of the discounts that are available for Minnesota car insurance but are simply not advertised!
Minnesota Auto Insurance Ratings
The basis of your auto insurance quote will be your Minnesota auto insurance rating. This rating informs Minnesota car insurance companies of the level of risk they are taking when they insure you to drive, and is based on historical data about which clients have the best chance of maintaining a healthy driving record. Different Minnesota car insurance companies calculate their ratings using different formulas, and this is why it is always in your best interests to shop around and compare Minnesota auto insurance quotes.
Some of the elements which Minnesota car insurance companies will take into account are:-
- Your Credit Rating – Minnesota auto insurance companies are entitled to make a credit check on you before offering car insurance. Handling your financial matters responsibly is assumed to indicate that you drive responsibly and, if you have a good credit record, you could be entitled to receive a Minnesota car insurance discount of up to 38 per cent.
- Your Age and Gender – Male youths are generally acknowledged to be responsible for a large proportion of accidents, but this is not always the case. In 2008 in Dakota County, only 15 per cent of accidents were caused by drivers aged between 15 and 24 (less than half the national average) and there was an equal division between the sexes when it came to liability.
- Driving History and License Status – We mentioned above about the Minnesota car insurance points system, and obviously you will be penalized for collecting points on your insurance history. However, being claim or ticket free for a year will also entitle you to discounts when it is time to renew your Minnesota auto insurance policy.
- Vehicle Use – If you live in one of Minnesota´s attractive rural areas and use your car occasionally for a little shopping, you are likely to pay less car insurance in Minnesota than the businessman who lives outside of Saint Paul and drives to work every day. Lower mileage represents lower risk in the eyes of Minnesota auto insurance companies.
Minnesota “Hot Spots” for Vehicle Theft
One of the first things any car insurance company will want to know when you approach them for a quote is where you live. Each year the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) publishes a list of the worst 360 metropolitan districts in the country for vehicle theft. Known as “Hot Spots” this report lists the districts in order of theft per capita to give an accurate indication of how likely it is that your car will get stolen in a certain area.
Eight metropolitan districts within Minnesota made it into the “Hot Spots” report. They are listed below (with their national position in brackets) and, if you live in one of these areas, it is likely that you are paying a premium on comprehensive car insurance in Minnesota for the higher risk of your car being stolen.
- Minneapolis/St. Paul (120)
- Duluth (256)
- Fargo (289)
- St. Cloud (305)
- Rochester (306)
- La Crosse (310)
- Grand Forks (320)
- Mankato (331)
Most Frequently Stolen Cars in Minnesota
As well as living in a district which attracts a higher level of car theft, you may also be paying a premium of your auto insurance in Minnesota if you drive a certain make of vehicle. The NICB accompanies it´s report on “Hot Spots” with one called “Hot Wheels”. This report highlights the most frequently stolen make of vehicle by State, and the list for Minnesota in 2010 looked like this:-
- Honda Accord
- Honda Civic
- Acura Integra
- Toyota Camry
- Chevrolet Pick-Up
- Dodge Caravan
- Ford Taurus
- Ford Explorer
- Pontiac Grand Prix
Typical Minnesota Auto Insurance Rates
Typically, auto insurance rates in Minnesota are above the national average of $1,440. However in some locations rates can be a little cheaper – and cheaper still if you take advantage of the advice provided above. The following rates indicate what the average Minnesota car insurance policy cost in 2010 in selected areas. If you live in one of these areas, and are paying more than what is quoted below, you should use the Minnesota car insurance comparison tool at the top of the page to do some shopping around and save money on your auto insurance in Minnesota!
Car insurance in Duluth – $1,257
Car insurance in Rochester – $1,303
Car insurance in Eagan – $1,382
Car insurance in Bloomington – $1,543
Car insurance in Burnsville – $1,603
Car insurance in Coon Rapids – $1,619
Car insurance in Plymouth – $1,622
Car insurance in Minneapolis – $1,653
Car insurance in St. Paul – $1,695
Car insurance in Brooklyn Park – $1,806
Minnesota Car Insurance Companies
The Minnesota Department of Commerce produces an excellent guide to Minnesota car insurance which provides basic information about auto insurance in Minnesota and the minimum levels of coverage you should have. It concludes that the best way to get cheap Minnesota car insurance is to speak with more than one company and comparison shop. Therefore, we have provided below a list of Minnesota auto insurance companies (we have provided reviews for those which are underlined) and you can take advantage of the interactive tool at the top of the page to request a series of auto insurance quotes in Minnesota.
|AIG||Farm Bureau Mutual||National Farmers Union|
|Allied Property & Casualty||Farmers Home Mutual||National General|
|AMCO||Federated||National Union Fire|
|American Family||First National||New Hampshire Indemnity|
|American Family Home||Foremost||North Star|
|American Modern||General Casualty||Owners|
|American National||General Insurance Company||Pacific Indemnity|
|American Reliable||of America||Pharmacists Mutual|
|American Security||Granite State||Phoenix|
|American Standard||Great Northern||Progressive|
|AMEX Assurance||Great Northwest||Ram Mutual|
|Auto Club Insurance Association||Hartford||Sentry|
|Auto-Owners||Horace Mann||Standard Fire|
|California Casualty||Illinois Farmers||State Auto|
|Centennial||Illinois National||State Farm|
|Charter Oak Fire||Insurance Company of the State||Teachers|
|Commerce & Industry||Integrity Mutual||Trumbull|
|Country||Liberty Mutual||Twin City Fire|
|Economy||Mid-Century||West Bend Mutual|
|Emcasco||Midwest Family Mutual||Western National|
Adequate car insurance in Minnesota need not be expensive, and by following the advice on this page and refraining from driving actions which will result in points being added to your car insurance history, you can enjoy driving around Minnesota in the knowledge that you and your family have sufficient protection against anything you may encounter on the road.