Auto Insurance: What You Need

Only Pay for What You Need

Only pay for what you need… It’s a great tagline; it’s short, catchy, and appealing. These are all the makings of a great marketing line; however, like a lot of advertising, it can be a little misleading. The truth is all auto insurance is customized, and you only pay for what you need. The catch is knowing if you need it. Here are some of the basics of auto insurance to help you make better decisions about what you need. The rules vary by state on what the minimum coverage is for auto insurance. We’re going to focus on Minnesota’s requirements.


All vehicles registered and primarily driven in Minnesota require liability, uninsured/underinsured, and personal injury protection insurance with minimum coverage amounts. 

Liability pays for injuries and property damage to others for the driver who is at fault. This coverage often looks like 30/60/10. Those numbers represent the coverages in thousands. Minnesota law requires liability to be at a minimum: $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident, and $10,000 for property damage. In today’s economy, those minimum amounts can be inadequate, which drives the need for uninsured/underinsured.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist compensates for injuries and property damaged caused by another driver who did not have insurance or had inadequate coverage to pay for all the damages. Minnesota requires a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Think of uninsured/underinsured as the amount you’re insuring yourself in the event of an accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) pays for medical bills and loss of income as a result of an accident, regardless of fault. Minimum coverage is $20,000 for medical bills and $20,000 for economic loss. Your PIP also covers you when you’re a passenger in someone else’s car.


Minnesota does not require comprehensive and collision insurance; however, lenders may require both comprehensive and collision for financed vehicles. Beyond a lender’s requirements, you may want to consider comprehensive and collision to protect your personal finances. 

Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by things other than collision. These include falling objects, weather related, and damage caused by animals. If you have a seasonal vehicle that is parked for extended periods, you should consider maintaining comprehensive coverage and dropping collision and liability while it’s parked.

Collision covers your vehicle when your vehicle collides with a fixed object, another vehicle, and rollovers. Collision also covers your vehicle when it is damaged in a hit and run and those door dings in the parking lot.

Deductibles are the amount you pay before insurance starts to pay for damages. Typical deductibles for comprehensive and collision are $250, $500, $1,000, or more. Your deductible applies to comprehensive and collision separately. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium. Full glass with a $0 deductible increases your premium, but glass is the most common claim in vehicle insurance. In most cases, it’s a good investment.

Roadside assistance is offered by all common carriers, and the amount of coverage and cost varies by each. It is usually a small increase to your premium, but some carriers include a base amount with collision coverage. It’s a “nice to have” when you need a tow.

Rental reimbursement pays for transportation expenses, including a rental car when your car is being repaired due to a covered claim. Similar to roadside, the coverages and premiums vary, and some carriers include a base amount under collision.

As you look through the minimum requirements for auto insurance, remember why you buy insurance in the first place. It’s to protect you financially in the event of a loss. You need to consider vehicle replacement cost, debt, and your financial assets. With all insurance companies, you only pay for what you need. We want you to have a better understanding of what you need, and we hope you’ll let us help you get the right personalized coverage.

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