If you live in Minnesota and feel like you’re paying too much for car insurance, it’s time to shop around. You can save more than you might expect by getting quotes from different insurers. Every company will view your personal profile — such as where you live, the car you drive, your driving record — in a different light and will quote you prices accordingly. All your personal information, right down to your address and your job, are unique identifiers that influence your rate.
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Our Top 4 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Minnesota
Each of these companies holds a high rank in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction study that evaluated the largest insurers in the north-central U.S. Their financial strength has been confirmed by leading global credit-rating agency A.M. Best.
Geico came in with a competitive $840 annual premium quote. American Family is a highly rated local provider. Keep in mind, though, that every consumer’s experience is different. You never know which company will have the best policy and price for your circumstances. With that in mind, stick with an affordable company and invest your money in some better auto coverage.
Minnesota’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2019
Minnesota has some stringent requirements for drivers in the state, according to Minnesota’s DMV. Unlike many states, Minnesota operates under no-fault coverage. Your insurance will pay your medical bills in the event of an accident. No-fault states traditionally require two types of coverage: liability and personal injury protection.
Minnesota’s liability requirements are mostly in line with other no-fault states. That means $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 for total bodily injury for all involved, and $10,000 for property damage, or a 30/60/10 plan. However, Minnesota’s personal injury protection requirements are a bit beyond most other comparable states, at $20,000 of medical cost coverage and $20,000 of lost wages protection.
Finally, you’re required to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to cover damages caused by an uninsured driver. The requirements are $25,000 for injuries per person and $50,000 for total injuries in the accident.
Why are Minnesota’s rates so average?
Minnesota’s car insurance rates are fairly consistent with the national average, even though more varied types of coverage are required than in other states. Minnesota’s affordable car-repair costs balance out the stringent insurance requirements.
Should you have more than minimum coverage?
If you are inclined to save money by purchasing the minimal amount of insurance required, there are a few things you should consider first. About 6 million car crashes occur each year in the United States. The average cost of a non-fatal accident with injuries is close to $93,800.
In most cases, upgrading to a 100/300/50 plan isn’t as much of a financial burden as you might expect. For example, an annual quote for a 30/60/10 plan with State Farm was $1,500. Increasing the coverage to 100/300/50 made a difference of only $212. Over 18 years, that’s an extra $3,816 to pay for the more appropriate coverage. All in all, it’s a worthwhile investment when you’re looking at being entirely covered should an accident occur.
What is no-fault insurance?
No-fault insurance is a form of insurance that will cover your medical expenses should you get into an accident. This applies regardless of whether you caused the accident. Minnesota is a no-fault state.
What’s the difference between comprehensive and collision insurance?
Knowing whether you need collision insurance or comprehensive coverage — or both — can be confusing. Collision insurance is for when you hit or collide with another object. For example, if your car hits a tree or a guardrail, you would use collision insurance. If you hit another vehicle or if your car rolls over, that would also be covered by collision insurance. Collision coverage also comes into play when your car is damaged due to road dangers such as potholes.
On the other hand, you would use comprehensive insurance if a tree branch fell onto your vehicle or you hit a deer. Damage caused by a natural disaster, such as a tornado or hail, would fall under comprehensive coverage. Finally, if your car is stolen or vandalized, comprehensive coverage is what you would need.
You can decide what type and how much insurance coverage you need based on the value of your car, where you live and your risk of an accident. Think about where you drive: If you live in an area with a lot of deer, you probably want comprehensive coverage. If you live in an urban area, collision insurance would probably be more useful.
What happens if you don’t have car insurance?
If you get caught driving without car insurance in Minnesota, it’s considered a misdemeanor and you will incur penalties and fines. For your first and second offenses, you’ll be fined between $200 and $1,000, and your license and registration will be suspended for up to 30 days. Your third offense will lead to a fine of $200 to $3,000 and the suspension of your license and registration will last for up to a year. In order to regain your driving privileges, you may be asked to do community service and to pick up an SR-22 insurance policy.
When do you need SR-22 insurance?
In Minnesota, if you’re caught without car insurance and you lose your license and registration, you will be required to get SR-22 insurance before reinstatement. Other offenses that will lead to SR-22 insurance requirements are drunken driving, reckless driving and having a series of small traffic incidents over a short period of time.
Technically, SR-22 is not an insurance policy but rather more of a certificate that must be purchased. This can be done through your regular insurance agent, who will fill out the paperwork to file the policy. Because of the significant increase in work for the policy, SR-22 insurance can be very expensive. In addition, the Minnesota government will decide how much you will have to pay in filing fees and other costs associated with picking up the policy. The state likely will decide how long you must carry the SR-22 insurance.
Take the Time to Shop Around Every Few Years
There was a time when car insurance prices and premiums were direct reflections of your risk profile — the collection of your personal and public data to calculate how risky you might be to insure. But auto insurance has entered a whole new realm. It starts with a controversial practice known as “price optimization.” It’s a tactic being used across the nation by almost every major insurer. It works like this: Insurers dig into a vast amount of personal information strewn over the web regarding your purchasing habits, contractual investments, even your social media activity. Complex algorithms are used to analyze the data and churn out “price elasticity” profiles. These profiles measure your flexibility to pay. They assume to know just how much you’re willing to pay them for insurance. The less sensitive you are to price changes, the more they will pull out of you.
In Minnesota, only property and casualty insurance are protected from the practice of price optimization, through Administrative Bulletin No 2015-3. When insuring your vehicle, your best bet is to stay aware of the competition’s rates. Generally speaking, if an insurer sees you shopping, it knows that you won’t settle. The more you shop, the more you’ll save, both now and in the long run.
You also need to be aware of other factors that affect your premium cost. For example, if you have a new driver on your policy, whether it’s a teenager or just someone who’s never driven before, it could significantly increase your insurance cost. This is because new drivers, in general, don’t have a driving track record, so insurance companies figure they will have more accidents and raise your insurance rates. Luckily, car insurance will decrease gradually as you age, and when you hit age 25, the rates are significantly lower. You can also apply for a student discount if you have good grades.
Another factor that might negatively affect your insurance rate is your credit score. It’s no secret that insurance companies look at your overall credit score to help determine your rate. If your score is under 620, that is likely a red flag for your insurance company. If you’ve ever filed for bankruptcy, that is a warning flag that can haunt you for up to 10 years. You can help yourself overcome these risk indicators by paying your bills on time and keeping your credit card balances low to raise your credit score.
You can keep your insurance rates down by being a good driver. Good drivers are often given a discount for avoiding collisions and accidents that result in large insurance payouts. When insurance companies don’t have to make those payouts, they pass that savings on to customers with clean driving records. If you keep your driving safe and on track, you could see some real price reductions on your policy. If you know that you’re a good driver, you should shop around for lower rates at different insurance companies.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes shouldn’t be the Land of Outrageous Premiums. In just a few minutes of researching, I was able to find some pretty extreme savings for the state of Minnesota. If you’re in the market for an insurance policy, I recommend you take the time to shop around and compare all the competition. It may take some time, but I truly believe it’ll be worth your while.
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