Minnesota Car Insurance Requirements
Minnesota car insurance law is similar to other states in some ways, quite different in others. In terms of similarity Minnesota requires every car on public roads to be covered under a minimum liability insurance policy that includes standard liability protection, personal injury protection, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
On the other hand, Minnesota is different in that the state also requires every car insurance policy to include a minimum of $35,000 of protection to pay for damage and or injuries incurred while using a rental vehicle. Car rental agencies must attach a notice to every rental agreement explaining this law, and detailing the fact that the customer’s car insurance policy covers the loss of the rental vehicle and additional agency insurance is not necessary.
For the three main parts of a standard liability policy, the minimum amounts required are as follows:
- personal injury protection – $40,000 total per accident ($20,000 for medical expenses; $20,000 for lost wages)
- liability insurance – $30,000 for injury/death of one person; $60,000 for multiple persons
- property damage – $10,000 per accident
- uninsured/underinsured motorist – $25,000 for injury/death of one person; $50,000 for multiple persons
Showing Proof of Insurance
It’s mandatory in Minnesota for drivers to carry proof of insurance in their vehicles at all times. Whenever pulled over during a traffic stop they must furnish that documentation to the police officer. Likewise, the documentation must be made available during an accident investigation. Drivers who are not able to provide proof of insurance upon request can be penalized to the same degree as someone caught driving without insurance.
Penalties for Driving without Insurance
If you’re caught driving without insurance you will be charged with a misdemeanor. It becomes a gross misdemeanor if you’ve been charged with the same offense anytime within the last 10 years. Fines begin at $250 and can be as high as $1,000, accompanied by 90 days in jail.
In addition, a court can choose to suspend your driver’s license or even revoke it if deemed necessary. If the charges against you are the result of simply being unable to furnish proof of insurance to a police officer and you can prove to the court you did have insurance in place at the time, any suspension or revocation of your license will be overturned.
Lastly, keep in mind that allowing a car insurance policy to lapse is equal to driving without insurance in the eyes of the law. It’s imperative that you purchase, at the very least, a cheap car insurance policy you can afford to maintain throughout the entire registration term of your car.