Auto Accidents and Insurance – Part 1 of 2

On Behalf of Thooft Law LLC


There are around six million car accidents in the United States every year. Car accidents can be one of the most traumatic events a driver can experience. That trauma is escalated when there are injuries, car damage, and minor children involved. This blog looks at the insurance company’s approach to a car accident and how it works.

Types of Insurance

Almost every state requires drivers to have some form of car insurance. There are six types of insurance coverage:

  1. Liability Coverage: This is mandatory in most states, including Minnesota. The amount set by state law in each state is the amount each person must carry. The two components included are bodily injury and property damage liability. Liability Coverage helps pay for costs of injuries to a person or to their car.

  2. Uninsured and Under-insured Motorist Coverage: Required in some states, this helps pay for injuries or damages to you and your vehicle if the other motorist does not have auto insurance, OR their liability limits are not enough to cover your injuries.

  3. Comprehension Coverage: Usually optional, this helps cover damages to your car from hail, fire, theft, or vandalism. This coverage usually has a deductible. A deductible is the amount you will pay out of pocket before the insurance company can repair your vehicle.

  4. Collision Coverage: Usually optional, this helps cover damages to your car if you hit objects, such as a rail or a fence.

  5. Medical Payments Coverage: Required in some states, this helps pay for costs associated with injuries for yourself and passengers in your vehicle during an accident.

  6. Personal Injury Protection: Only available in some states, this is similar to Medical Payments Coverage in that it helps pay for your medical expense after an accident. The difference is that it pays for other expenses such as child care or lost income.

Minnesota Minimum Coverage

In Minnesota, auto insurance is required. The minimum coverage in Minnesota is:

  • Bodily injury liability: $30,000 per person and $60,000 for two or more people

  • Property damage liability: $10,000

  • Personal injury protection (PIP): $20,000 per person for medical and $20,000 per person for non-medical such as lost wages

  • Uninsured motorist coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

  • Under-insured motorist coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

Coverage beyond these minimum amounts may be purchased but is not required by law. Minnesota state law does not require comprehensive or collision coverage if you are the owner of your car, but a lien holder will require the extra coverage.

Tune in next week for part two of this blog.