What You Need To Know About Car Insurance

By Attorneys James Reichert and Kristine J. Zajac

Minnesota law requires that an owner of an automobile MUST carry no-fault insurance and liability coverage.

"No-Fault" refers to the Minnesota law which requires insurance companies to pay for medical bills and wage loss for the passengers of the car regardless of who is at fault in the accident. Before no-fault insurance, accident victims sometimes waited months or even years for payment of these benefits. The minimum no-fault coverage is $20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for wage loss benefits payable at a maximum of $250.00 per week.

Liability coverage insures you against claims for personal injuries by other persons. The minimum coverage required by law is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This is often too low and higher amounts should be considered.

Optional coverages for automobile accidents include collision coverage which pays to repair your vehicle no matter who was at fault. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage pays to protect you and your residential family if you are injured by a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance. Your insurance company MUST offer this coverage to you when you are buying insurance. You do not have to buy this insurance coverage even though you must be offered it.

If you are in an accident, call the police at once. Write down a complete description of the accident as soon as possible. Notify your insurance company. Do not discuss who is responsible for the accident. Only discuss the circumstances of the accident with the police or your insurance company.