The Best Minnesota Auto Insurance
In just two days in winter 2018, 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.
How We Found the Best Minnesota Auto Insurance
Using our review of the best auto insurance as a guide, we found the top five auto insurance providers in the Gopher State by total market share. We then researched each provider, noting each one’s coverage options, discounts, and educational resources, including any safe driver programs that may further reduce your rates. Then, we examined each provider’s financial strength by looking at Moody’s, A.M. Best, and Standard & Poor’s ratings. We also examined Consumer Reports’ nationwide survey and the J.D. Power and Associates’ regional evaluation to determine consumers’ overall claims and customer service.
When possible, we also solicited a quote to get a better idea of each auto insurance company’s premiums, policies, and customer service. Finally, we aggregated the data and ranked providers. Here’s how the five biggest names stack up.
The 5 Best Auto Insurance Companies in Minnesota
All five of our favorite auto insurance providers offers solid service and exceptional financial strength. 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 impressive guarantee, Allstate’s website is packed with resources, including articles on every insurance-related question imaginable. We also like Allstate’s quote tool: You enter standard information about your car in order to hit every possible discount, such as those 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: 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 helping you understand what coverage you’ll need and when.
State Farm is 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 possible. 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, 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% off for multiple vehicles, up to 17% off for multiple policies, and a good student discount of up to 25%. Drivers can also earn discounts for completing driver safety courses, including up to 15% off for using the Steer Clear program, State Farm’s online course designed with teen drivers in mind.
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 makes them worth pointing out. You can easily qualify for many of the fourteen available 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. However, Progressive’s many discounts don’t add up to savings as high as they could be. A big example, if you bundle home and auto insurance with American Family, you’ll save 23%. With Progressive, you’ll save roughly 5%.
As a counterweight to their broad but shallow discounts, here are two impressive points of coverage. Progressive’s 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. 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% more than your car’s actual cash value towards the amount you owe your lender.
We’ve been researching auto insurance for years, so we know how confusing it can be for first-timers. That’s why we appreciate American Family’s website. Here, drivers can learn about insurance deductibles, including what to consider before choosing one, along with coverage options. The site is also 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.
That said, we don’t like 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.
While Farmers has the lowest financial ratings out of the five Minnesota insurers we reviewed, the company has quite a few redeeming qualities. Most of them come in the form of coverage options. For example, Farmers not only offers accident forgiveness, but incident forgiveness, too. Meaning Farmers won’t increase your rates for a citation, like a speeding ticket, 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 the 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 like that Farmers offers discounts for driving alternative fuel, hybrid, and electric cars and for students 100 miles or more from home, there was limited information on the discounts and relevant savings. 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.
Guide to Minnesota Auto Insurance
Minimum liability insurance is the portion of your auto policy that covers both drivers and property outside of your car, including damages to another car, occupants of the 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 the 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.
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 almost 16%, 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, how many miles, and how often you rapidly accelerate, make hard turns, and slam on the brakes, among other things. This data is then shared with your auto insurer and is used to determine the cost of your premium.
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, insurers can reduce vehicle thefts and improve accident response time.
What are the benefits to the insured? A 2014 Deloitte survey found that 26% of respondents would allow monitoring of their driving via smartphone app, while 27% were comfortable with the use of telematics if the premium discount was high enough.
Personal injury protection
Minnesota law requires all licensed drivers to carry insurance, and personal injury protection is one mandatory component. This protection point is also called no-fault coverage, and pays for medical bills and wage replacement if you’re injured in a car accident. Minnesota is one of 12 no-fault states, which means that your insurance will pay out a certain amount for these necessities without waiting to decide who caused the accident.
Minnesota Auto Insurance FAQ
What are average auto insurance rates in Minnesota?
The average per year for auto insurance in Minnesota is on the low side — $875, as compared to the national average of $1,009. Knowing the average of both local and national rates is a good way to get a first impression of the quotes you gather, but keep in mind what might be an empirical good rate may not be feasible given your circumstances or may actually be higher than your minimal needs or stellar driving record can score. The answer is always to gather more quotes. Figure out your own average auto insurance rate and decide your best purchase from there.
Can you save with a UBI policy?
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 saving 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, the effect of telematics on car insurance premiums varies 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 which insurer you choose.
How much auto insurance do you need?
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.