In just two days this winter, there were almost 300 reported crashes and upwards of 500 spinouts, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Even on warm days when the roads are filled with fewer hazards, there is the potential for an accident. That’s why it’s so critical to make sure your insurance policy has you fully covered.

Minnesota Minimum Liability

Minimum liability insurance is the portion of your auto policy that covers both drivers and property outside of your car, including damages to the other car, occupants of another car, or property. It’s the bare-bones coverage that all drivers are required to purchase.

Minnesota’s minimum liability insurance requirements are as follows:

  • $30,000 bodily injury coverage per person
  • $60,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $10,000 property damage coverage per accident

But minimum liability coverage is just that: the bare minimum. If you cause an accident and those damages exceed your policy, you must cover the remainder of the costs — and those can add up fast. That’s why we recommend purchasing as much car insurance as you can afford.

We also know that your auto insurance should fit your needs without breaking the bank, which is why we also suggest that you compare quotes from several car insurance companies. So, to help you with that task, we’ve compared the most popular auto insurance companies in Minnesota.

Minnesota Auto Insurance Reviews

Allstate

Like State Farm, Progressive, American Family, and Allstate are all financially strong, as determined by A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s, and they all received solid customer service and claims experience ratings from both Consumer Reports and JD Power and Associates.

So, what sets Allstate apart? It’s the only auto insurer that’s willing to bet money on its customers’ claims experience. The company’s Claim Satisfaction Guarantee — included with its standard coverage — promises that, if you’re unhappy with your claims service for any reason, it’ll pay your premiums for the next six months.

In addition to that guarantee, Allstate’s website’s stood out as our favorite of the five. It is chock-full of resources, including articles on every insurance-related question imaginable.

We like Allstate’s quote tool just as much: You enter standard information about your car, some of which may even earn you discounts, as is the case for airbags and anti-lock brakes. If you know your current insurance coverage, Allstate even gives you the option of what kind of quote you’d like: coverage similar to that of your current provider, tailored coverage, or a range of coverage options.

Once you’re presented with different options, you can easily edit them, swiftly changing deductibles and adding or subtracting coverage. That last part is notable, because there’s plenty to choose from, including common ones such as accident forgiveness and roadside assistance coverage.

If you’re not sure what kind of additional coverage you need, Allstate can help you out there, too. The site provides a look at what coverage other drivers in your area have, along with tools for personalizing your coverage and help you understand what coverage you need and when.

State Farm

We recommend starting your car insurance search with Allstate, but you’d do well to check out State Farm, too. It was a close second, and its financial strength was the biggest reason why.

While all the top Minnesota auto insurance providers received strong reviews from Moody’s, A.M. Best, and Standard & Poor’s, State Farm boasted the highest ratings of the group, and a strong financial rating is the best assurance your claim will be paid. Transportation, repairs, and costs are more than enough to worry about when dealing with an insurance claim — you don’t want to add whether or not your insurance company is capable of paying your claim to that list.

State Farm’s standard and optional coverage are also solid, albeit nothing outstanding, with emergency road service, rideshare insurance, and rental car reimbursement add-ons. We would have liked to see more robust endorsements, but State Farm covers all the basics.

State Farm also has policyholders covered with discounts, which were among the highest values of the Minnesota insurers we examined. These include up to 20 percent off for multiple vehicles, up to 17 percent off for multiple policies, and a good student discount of up to 25 percent.

Drivers can also earn discounts for completing driver safety courses, including up to 15 percent off for using the Steer Clear program, State Farm’s online course designed with teen drivers in mind.

Progressive

Like Allstate, Progressive’s quote tool is simple and straightforward. After we provided some basic information on our vehicle and background, we received three different options, along with the chance to change our down payment and monthly bill using the Name Your Price tool.

On the subject of savings, the sheer abundance of Progressive’s discounts — 14 — makes them worth pointing out. You can easily qualify for many of them by starting a quote online, signing documents online, enrolling in autopay, consistently maintaining car insurance coverage, or by using Snapshot, a program that uses an app or mobile device to track and reward you for safe driving habits.

Although Progressive offers many discounts the savings aren’t always as high as they could be. For example, State Farm’s multi-car discount slashes 20 percent of your bill, while Progressive’s multi-car discount is just 10 percent.

Likewise, when you bundle home and auto insurance with Progressive, you’ll save roughly 5 percent, compared to up to 23 percent off with American Family.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Progressive’s coverage options. Its standard collision coverage not only covers your injuries, but also those of your pets if they are hurt in a car accident. Anyone with a furry friend knows how quickly vet bills can accumulate — and will appreciate that extra level of protection.

Progressive’s gap insurance is also worth looking into. If your car is ever declared a total loss, this coverage ensures you’ll receive up to 25 percent more than your car’s actual cash value towards the amount you owe your lender.

American Family

We’ve been researching auto insurance for years, so we know how confusing it can be for first-timers. That’s why we appreciated American Family’s website. Here, drivers can learn about insurance deductibles, including what to consider before choosing a deductible, along with coverage options.

If drivers still have questions, they can check out the FAQ section. On top of all this, American Family’s site is home to a host of useful articles, including How to Avoid Hitting Deer, Tips for Driving with Dogs, and How to Handle Potholes.

The site also walks you through the online quote process and vehicle-specific discounts for safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, airbags, and daytime running lights.

While we appreciated having this info, we didn’t appreciate the fact that we couldn’t complete our quote without contacting an American Family agent. We prefer having all the information in front of us so we can make an educated decision before talking to an insurance agent and receiving a sales pitch. Because you might feel the same way, this knocked American Family further down our list.

Like State Farm, American Family’s coverage options and discounts are par for the course, save for the Young Volunteer discount. This is exclusive to American Family and is given to people under age 25 who volunteer for at least 40 hours per year at a nonprofit organization.

Despite our affinity toward American Family’s articles and altruistic discount, it doesn’t stack up to Allstate, State Farm, or Progressive. However, if the company offers you a better deal than the other names on our list, they’re still worth considering.

Farmers

Of the five Minnesota insurers we reviewed, Farmers had the lowest financial ratings, dropping it to the bottom of our list. Specifically, Farmers received a Baa2 score from Moody’s, which means it is subject to moderate credit risk. The insurer received all-A’s from A.M. Best and Standard and Poor’s, so we wouldn’t rule it out entirely.

And the insurer has quite a few redeeming qualities, most of which come in the form of coverage options. For example, Farmers not only offers accident forgiveness, but incident forgiveness, too. The latter allows speed demons to breathe a sigh of relief, as Farmers won’t increase your rates for a citation, provided no claim is filed. We also liked Farmers’ glass repair services, which provide a swift mobile response and 24/7 scheduling, along with a national lifetime warranty for as long as you own or lease your car.

We also like Farmers’ website. It includes a page that helps you identify the potential gaps in your insurance coverage, a robust FAQ section, and tips for ways to save on auto insurance.

Unfortunately, we had issues with the most important part of the site: its online quote tool. Before we could receive a quote, we were required to input our contact information, which is commonplace for an online quote. Farmers, however, wouldn’t accept our email, and thus halted the quote process.

And while we liked that Farmers offers discounts for driving alternative fuel, hybrid, and electric cars and students 100 miles or more from home, there was limited information on the discounts and their savings involved.

If you want an entirely online experience, Farmers isn’t for you. But if you do your research and are willing to sit down with an agent, it’s worth looking into.

Consider Usage-Based Insurance

Distracted or inattentive driving contributes to about a quarter of Minnesota crashes each year, which results in at least 70 deaths and 350 serious injuries, according to the Minnesota Department of Safety.

In recent years, insurance companies have responded to these statistics with increasingly harsh penalties. The Zebra State of Auto Insurance Report found that in 2017, for example, drivers caught using their phone saw their insurance premiums increase an average of 15.86 percent, adding roughly $225 on their annual premiums.

Auto insurance companies are doing their part to combat the issue through new programs known as usage-based insurance (UBI).

Each program utilizes a plug-in device or smartphone sensor technology to record your driving practices: where and when you drive, and how many miles you drive, plus how often you rapidly accelerate, make hard turns, and slam on the brakes, among other things.

The recording product then shares that data with your auto insurer, which uses the information to determine the cost of your premium.

As UBI advances and is better able to track human behavior, it may play a key role in providing that data.

UBI programs help auto insurers save money.

As the National Association of Insurance Commissioners explains, telematics help auto insurers more accurately estimate accident damages and lower fraud by allowing them to analyze the driving data during an accident.

There are other benefits for insurance providers, too. For example, with the knowledge of a vehicle’s location, insurer’s can reduce vehicle thefts and improve accident response time, and in turn, save insurers money.

Of course, auto insurance providers can only save those funds if you choose to share that data with them. All of these programs are options, and you’re required to provide your insurance company with permission to access this data. So be sure to read the fine print before signing up.

And most people are fine with this practice, under certain conditions. And by conditions, we mean savings. A 2014 Deloitte survey found that 26 percent of respondents would allow monitoring of their driving via smartphone app, while 27 percent were comfortable with the use of telematics if the premium discount was high enough.

But will these programs save you save?

Maybe. The Zebra’s 2018 State of Auto Insurance report found that the average annual auto insurance premium fell from $1,427 to $1,415 — a savings of just $12.

The same report found that UBI programs are the most beneficial for drivers who live close to work, work normal business hours, and drive on relatively flat surfaces.

Based on this finding, there are few additional factors to consider. First and foremost, telematics’ effects on car insurance premiums vary heavily — and so will the savings. In fact, some people may actually see their premiums rise after signing up for UBI programs. And as the table below shows, savings also vary depending on what insurer you choose.

Allstate State Farm Progressive American Family
UBI program name
Drive Smart and Save
Snapshot
KnowYourDrive
Drivewise
Requirements
OnStar® or mobile app
Mobile app or plug-in device
Mobile app
Mobile app
Initial savings for signing up
5%
$25 on average
5%
3%
Ongoing savings
Up to 50%
$130 on average
Up to 40%
Up to 15% cash back, plus rewards points

The bottom line

The costs of a car accident can add up quickly, which is why Minnesota drivers should aim to purchase as much auto insurance as they can afford. Ultimately, all drivers and their needs are unique. So, in order to get the best price possible on your auto insurance, you should shop around for coverage.

To help you get the best price possible, request quotes from multiple providers — and regularly review your policy to ensure you’re taking advantage of all available discounts.